out of 4
All-Reviews.com Movie/Video Review
Starring: Jonathan Jackson, Alexis Bledel|
Director: Jay Russell
RunTime: 120 Minutes
Release Date: October 2002
Genres: Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Review by Susan Granger
2 stars out of 4
Who's the target audience for this movie? Based on Natalie Babbitt's
1975 novel, the story revolves around the Tucks, an ill-fated family of four
living in a ramshackle cabin in the forest. There's 17 year-old Jesse (Jonathan
Jackson), his surly older brother (Scott Bairstow), and their parents: Angus
(William Hurt) and Mae (Sissy Spacek). Their existence is discovered by a 15
year-old girl, Winnie Foster (Alexis Bledel), who has run away because her
parents are preparing to send her to a strict boarding school. Frightened at
first by these odd strangers, Winnie soon becomes a member of their "family,"
although it takes awhile for them to confide their powerful secret: they've
inadvertently sipped from the "fountain of youth" and are immortal, impervious
to injury or disease. In the meantime, a mysterious Man in the Yellow Suit (Ben
Kingsley) is in hot pursuit of the Tucks and strikes a dastardly bargain with
Winnie's distraught parents to find her and bring her back. So much for plot.
The question posed by the story is a thorny one: if you had the chance, would
you want to live forever? That's the choice Winnie ultimately must make.
Insofar as Jeffrey Lieber & James V. Hart's script goes, it's insipid,
except for one or two of Ben Kingsley's edgy lines. Director Jay Russell and
photographer James L. Carter highlight the sweetly star-crossed lovers amid the
sun-drenched, verdant foliage, but the plodding pace makes the movie feel like
it's "everlasting." Alexis Bledel of TV's "Gilmore Girls" makes a spunky
heroine, while Amy Irving and Victor Garber are bitterly grim as her icy
Victorian parents. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Tuck Everlasting" is
a morbid, melancholy 5. I would not advise it for children who may not be ready
to confront the concept of death and eternity.
Copyright © 2002 Susan Granger
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