Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here. If I hadn’t already seen BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA, I probably wouldn’t run this review. It's reeeeeeeeeeeally positive. Thing is, I saw it a few weeks ago, and although I’m still under embargo on reviewing it myself, I can see how someone might write the following. I doubt I’ll be anywhere near as effusive as this reviewer is, but I think it’s generally on the mark about this film. It’s very good, and although I’m not familiar with the book it’s based on, I can say that the film handles some difficult material with some real skill and grace. Hold on to your hyperbole... here comes Daffodil 11!
Hi Harry, Daffodil 11 here again, with a review of the Disney/Walden Media picture 'Bridge To Terabithia'. Let me begin by saying that I was heckled as a 'plant' when I gave what could have been the first review of Batman Begins, and wrote that it would 'be remembered as one of (that) year's most exciting and best blockbuster films'. Sorry, but despite my moniker, a plant I ain't. First off, I have to state that as I was not a big fan of the over-hyped 'Chronicles Of Narnia', this was not a picture I was overly keen to see. This could have possibly put me in the best frame of mind for seeing virtually anything, but regardless of my expectations I found this movie to be nothing short of a KNOCKOUT! The cast of younger actors features Anna Sophia Robb (Violet Beauregarde in Tim Burton's Charlie And The Chocolate Factory), Josh Hutcherson (Zathura) and scene-stealing newcomer Bailee Madison. They are joined by an adult supporting cast including Robert Patrick and Zooey Deschanel. Based on a well-known book for younger readers, I have to say that this film is being misrepresented in it's promotion. It features fantasy elements but is far from being completely set in the castles and creatures world suggested in the trailer. Instead, Terabithia is very-much grounded in reality. It's the story of Jesse (Hutcherson), the middle-child from a working-class family. A budding artist, he is a bit of a loner at school who has trouble with two bullies in class as well as a female 8th grader who's built like a brick wall. When new girl Leslie (Robb) joins his class, Jesse soon becomes friends with her after they bond over a shared love of imagination. Discovering they are neighbors, Jesse and Leslie explore a nearby forest where they find an old crumbling tree house. It quickly becomes a base from which the two of them embark on a series of games and adventures that are enhanced by the creatures and beasts that their minds create. The picture is beautifully shot, features excellent performances by it's younger costars and it's screenplay is underplayed and realistic in it's depiction of school and family life. However, full credit must be given to first-time feature director Gabor Csupo (the producer behind the Rugrats TV series and films), who manages to imbue Bridge To Terabithia with an incredible sincerity that grasps how it feels to be young. While the special effects are very good, Csupo never lets them take over the film - instead the effects enhance it and allow the viewer to be drawn into the world conceived by Leslie and Jesse. More than once I found myself re-living my own youthful enthusiasm, remembering a time when I could outrun anything, everyday things were capable of magic abilities and a world of fantastic creatures existed just behind the next tree. Bridge To Terabithia is an incredible film for all ages. Csupo has created a movie that talks TOO kids, never down to them. It is never trying, false or anything less than truly entertaining. Those familiar with the book may remember the story's twists and turns, which are never compromised here. Csupo stays close to the text and emerges with a magical, emotional and powerful film that will take many by surprise. Csupo's picture is certain to not only be one of the best-reviewed films of the year, but it could well become a classic. While it shares certain story elements and themes with this film (including a performance from 7 year old Madison that recalls a certain younger sister character named Gertie...), it's not overstating the case to suggest that Bridge To Terabithia is among the best, if not THE BEST film for families since E.T. The Extra Terrestrial. Daffodil 11.