Saturday, August 18, 2007

August 18th Log

2006, Gary Winick, United States
Repeat Viewing, Movie Under the Stars

Another summer night screening under the stars at a local park… Far more faithful and imaginative then the 1973 animated version of the classic children’s tale, this adaptation does not disappoint any age group. The story is a rightful classic on universal themes of friendship, life, prejudice, sacrifice and ignorance. This film succeeds where the animated version failed in that it never pushes the content with forced sentiment (though it certainly does not completely avoid sentiment). The result is a charming and compassionate film that takes on the magical qualities of its original source. There are so many valuable lessons to this film and it is one that should be endeared by all ages. The voice-over work of the animals is strong for the most part (though I imagine there are better options for Charlotte then Julia Roberts). Steve Buscemi may be a bit type-cast as Templeton the Rat, but he is memorable. Dakota Fanning doesn’t always work for me, but she gives Fern just the right children-like charm without the overstuffed “cuteness”. Charlotte's Web is a wonderful tale and this film is a surprisingly wonderful adaptation of it. If Charlotte were to capture the qualities of this film on her web with one word my suggestion would be: sweet. This is a very good family film!


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