Saturday, October 1, 2011

Film Review: Dolphin Tale

These days I don't often see movies in the theater. A tight budget and a Netflix/Quickster membership have made it necessary to limit my theater-going to movies I believe will be worthwhile.

Two years ago, my daughter went whale watching for the first time and completely fell in love with the sea and all life within it. Last year, she adopted a humpback whale through The World Wildlife Fund. This year, she'd been particularly excited about two things. One of them is the movie Dolphin Tale. And since it came out so close to her birthday, I figured it might be worth seeing in the theater- perhaps even in 3D, and I never pay extra for 3D if I think the movie would be just as good without the glasses and gimmickry.

I was not disappointed. The 3D effects did indeed enhance the moviegoing experience without being obnoxious. Similarly, the star power of the cast showed best by not showing at all. I found Austin Stowell's performance as a wounded veteran heartrendingly perfect right down to his eight mile stare. Every actor in the cast could have easily overpowered the entire movie, just as the family movie schmaltz also could have, but they did not. Instead, barring a scene with a remote controlled helicopter I found took excessively long, the focus of the whole film remained right where it needed to be. Based on the true story of a remarkable bottlenose dolphin named Winter who'd lost her tail after getting tangled in a crab trap line, the movie focuses on her and her ability to touch so many lives- from the alienated young boy who found her, to the doctors and biologists who worked with her, to disabled children and wounded veterans who understood her plight and were inspired by her triumph.

And this leads me to mention one other problem. I forgot to bring a hanky.

I rate this movie four and a half boxes of Kleenex out of five, and my daughter gives it two pectoral fins up.

1 comment:

  1. This was a very good movie. Do remember the box of tissues!