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Tuck Everlasting /

Rated: PG

Starring: Alexis Bledel, Ben Kingsley, Sissy Spacek, Amy Irving, Jonathan Jackson 

Directed by: Jay Russell 

Produced by: Jane Startz, Marc Abraham, James V. Hart, Deborah Forte 

Written by: Jeffrey Lieber, James V. Hart, Jeffrey Leiber 

Distributor: Walt Disney


Movie Image

Movie Image

Movie Image

     Disney has finally come to a point in their life where they can’t make happy-go-lucky, feel good children’s movies anymore. In Tuck Everlasting they are not afraid to embrace mature topics, they are not afraid to show a little lip to the kisses in which the two main characters engage in, and they definitely aren’t afraid to grasp the true concept of love. The film is suitable for a child, and has a short-running length, but the story that lies inside is one that adults will enjoy as well; it might just be the only kids’ movie that singles over the age of twenty-five will want to see alone. The entire piece is full of great photography, beautiful scenery, and the best cast I have seen in a long time. Most everything is well done, and strangely believable; it keeps the true beauty that the novel has continuously held for many years.

     Winnie Foster is a seventeen year-old girl who is trapped in a life that doesn’t express her true character. Her family is rich, so she must be perfect; she isn’t aloud to play any type of sport because it will make her beautiful white dresses too dirty, her mother gets mad at her when she doesn’t wear a tightly drawn corset, to make her look thinner, and when she hits the wrong note in the middle of a song that she is playing on the piano in front of guests, her parents feel utterly disturbed and embarrassed. She is an only child, and has no brothers and sisters to interact with. There is no freedom for her in life because she is constantly expected to be as perfect as could be. Her guardians expect her to be the most infallible person the world has ever seen That is, until she comes across a boy that looks her age, in the woods that her father owns.

     The young man she comes across is named Jesse, and he lives in the forest. When he first sees her, he feels uncomfortable, but won’t say why. She sees that he was drinking from a spring and asks him if she can have a small sip, but the second after her innocent remark, he forcefully resists and pushes her out of the way. His brother stumbles upon them and quickly grabs her, then rushes her to their home on horseback immediately, but she has no idea why. She finds his whole family engaging in a very quiet quarrel, while being held to the couch, disabling her from hearing anything. They will not let her leave their home in fear of a mysterious secret about the spring being unleashed, though she doesn’t know what it is, Winnie is The Tuck’s hostage. Though most people would feel imprisoned if they were being held a strangers home, she likes the odd family more than her own, and they treat her well. As the story moves on, she begins to fall in love with the colorful character Jesse, whom she finds by a mixture of luck and fate. After their relationship grows deeper, he tells her the startling secret of the spring, which I will not spoil for you.

     Alexis Bledel, who plays Winnie, is a very talented, fresh young actress. In her role she was able to keep a great amount of wit, and reached for emotions even the best actors and actresses don’t try to obtain. She kept a great sense of composure in the scenes that could have gone desperately wrong, but ended up working. Her sweet and sensitive Disney look combined with the unleashed feeling of her character on “The Gilmore Girls” proved for her to be the right choice for the part. I like actresses who can speak with such innocence, like did. We must remember that in the movie business, we don’t have to have giant characters with ego-inflated souls, and Ms. Bledel worked with that. The soft-spoken dialogue that her character speaks is charming, and is much more effective than most other young stars could distribute.

     Aside from Bledel and her co-star Jonathan Jackson, who plays Jesse, there are three Academy Award winners taking the supporting roles. Sissy Spacek plays Mae Tuck, the mother of Jesse and his brother, Miles, played by Scott Bairstow. The one thing that made her character good was the incredible sense of realism she had, even when trying to cover up one of the most farfetched secrets in movies today. William Hurt plays her husband, Angus Tuck, more simply referred to as “Tuck” himself. He doesn’t want Winnie to find out about the spring, and is reluctant to tell anyone at all, in fear that people will flock around his family and the woods. Hurt’s performance was my favorite; his character has some great philosophical dialogue that is quite admirable. Lastly, is Ben Kingsley, who plays a man trying to hunt down the Tuck family and steal their mysterious spring. He offers to find Winnie when she is reported missing, in return for the woods in which her father owns. These woods contain the spring, so he will get what he wants both ways; the family, to find more information about the spring holds in addition to what he already knows, and the spring itself, so he can do whatever he wants with it.

     The only thing that I didn’t like in the film was the unrealistic choice of costumes. The different pieces the characters wore looked like plastic garbage and not authentic material from the early nineteen-hundreds. The woman’s costumes look like something you’d buy at Party City store, and their corsets looked like thin, fake leather super-glued onto cardboard. The men’s clothes look a little better, but not much. The supposedly leather vests and pants, look like plastic, once again; and their shirts thin, and cheap looking, were much different than the home-made type apparel that people would really be wearing in that time period. This might not matter to little kids, but as I said before, they are not exactly the targeted audience, though thousands of them will see the film because of its “PG” rating. Though this area is one to suffer, the beautiful, surreal landscaping and cinematography are absolutely gorgeous way to make up for it.

     Tuck Everlasting moves quickly through its material, with a short running length of an hour and a half, but is able to cleverly describe all of its features thoroughly in the small amount of time. The story, based on the book by Natalie Babbit, is fabulous in the way it explains a rather tall tail in such helplessness and simplicity. With a great cast, featuring three Academy Award winners and two younglings who have dynamite chemistry together, the acting isn’t an area to suffer, either. The lighting and cinematography are always stirring, to help our minds to be further evolved in the story and to let us admire the gorgeous scenery. Most everything works wonderfully, except for the poor costume design, but is ultimately another winner for the Disney franchise.

-Danny, Bucket Reviews


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