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TUCK EVERLASTING

SYNOPSIS:
15 year-old Winnie Foster (Alexis Bledel) lives with her wealthy parents in the wilderness town of Treegap. Wanting to experience more of life than her domineering mother (Amy Irving) will allow, Winnie takes a walk in the nearby woods and meets 17 year-old Jesse Tuck (Jonathan Jackson) who lives with his family in the forest near Winnie's home. While her father Robert Foster (Victor Garber) leads a search party into the woods Winnnie discovers the magical secret of the Tuck family and must decide whether she wants to share in the extraordinary gift they possess.


Review by Richard Kuipers:
The target audience might be teenage girls but this beautifully made item is likely to appeal to a much wider audience. The second screen version of Natalie Babbitt's novel (the first was directed by Frederick King Keller in 1980) is an inspiring film about love, mortality and the importance of leading a good and worthy life. Those ingredients gathered under a Disney banner might lead to fears of sugar overload but this coming of age story never succumbs to sticky sentiment.

Instead, it takes a gentle and uplifting approach to its study of a young girl who breaks free from her domineering mother and experiences the joy of life as lived by Jesse Tuck and his family of immortals. Big screen newcomers Alexis Bledel and Jonathan Jackson are perfectly cast and very appealing as the young romantics in this warm hearted fable. It might be a little too soft and fuzzy for some viewers and it does shy away from asking several important questions about how humans might cope with being stuck at the same age for eternity but this is so handsomely made and the characters so vividly drawn it's easy to forgive the minor flaws in Jeffrey Lieber and James V Hart's screenplay.

This is a meticulously crafted film, with James L Carter's glowing photography and Tony Burroughs' production design exquisitely creating three very distinct worlds. The oppressive mansion of the Foster family, the Tuck's splendid isolation in the woods and the town of Treegap itself are as alive as the characters. Crafted with love by director Jay Russell, Tuck Everlasting surrounds its impressive young actors with a wonderful cast of veterans. Sissy Spacek and William Hurt as the Tuck parents and Amy Irving and Victor Garber as their opposite numbers bring grace and dignity to this romantic fable and Ben Kingsley adds a welcome sinister touch as a man with dishonourable intentions toward the everlasting Tucks. With much to be enchanted by while you're watching and some worthwhile questions to think about afterwards, Tuck Everlasting is rewarding old-fashioned entertainment.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

TRAILER

TUCK EVERLASTING (PG)
(US)

CAST: Alexis Bledel, William Hurt, Sissy Spacek, Jonathan Jackson, Scott Bairstow, Ben Kingsley, Amy Irving

PRODUCER: Marc Abraham, Jane Startz

DIRECTOR: Jay Russell

SCRIPT: Jeffrey Lieber, James V. Hart (Natalie Babbitt - novel)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: James L. Carter

EDITOR: Jay Lash Cassidy

MUSIC: William Ross

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Tony Burrough

RUNNING TIME: 88 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: BVI

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: March 27, 2003

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: BVHE

VIDEO RELEASE: July 30, 2003







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