Movie: The Magic of Belle Isle

By admin
10 October 2012

This film is honest and enriching and, although the ending is predictably happy, it has a warm heart that will stay with you.

Rating: 3/5

Drama. With Morgan Freeman, Virginia Madsen and Madeline Carroll.

Director: Rob Reiner.

13PG. Opens 12 October.

There hasn’t been a charming, family- friendly movie that caters for old and young in a while.

An alcoholic writer (a controlled, inspired performance by Freeman) goes into hiding in an idyllic coastal village, hoping to reconnect with his muse while trying to beat his addiction. He meets a single mom (Madsen) and her three daughters. The film shows how these characters have a healing influence on one another.

There are quirks and unexpected flashes of humour, but the emphasis is on strong characterisation and wisdom as the movie examines the power of imagination, the impact of good intentions, mentorship and inspiration.

It’s a good movie for parents to take their kids to – there are valuable life lessons, but they’re subtly deliv- ered. Some might find it sentimental and manipulative but this release is a minor highlight in an otherwise dry October.

- Leon van Nierop

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