The fountain of youth returns to the big screen in "Tuck Everlasting," a family drama based on the book by Natalie Babbitt. While two unknowns claim the main characters, they are supported by three Oscar winners, William Hurt, Ben Kingsley and Sissy Spacek.
Alexis Bledel stars as Winnie, a 15-year old girl living in the very early 1900's. Her rich family wants to send her away to a boarding school, but she would much rather experience the world for herself. One day, on a walk through the woods, she comes across a 17-year old boy named Jessie (Jonathan Jackson), who is drinking from a small spring. Suddenly, she finds herself being taken to a small, secluded hut in the woods, held against her will though it seems as though the family, the Tucks, mean her no harm. There is obviously a secret that they are hiding, and she is about to find out, especially thanks to Jessie, whom she is starting to fall in love with.
"Tuck Everlasting" is a cute little film that will appeal to audiences of all ages, in a limited sense. It is short and to the point, and because of that never becomes boring. However, had it been much longer, my attention would have waned, for nothing spectacular really seems to happen. From a child's point of view, "Tuck Everlasting" might be a little bland, and from an older person's point of view, the movie is just a movie, slightly captivating but nonetheless a little featureless. Thinking back, there is very little excitement in the film.
Nevertheless, the movie is well done and quite pretty at times. Ben Kinglsey does a good job as the creepy hunter, as does William Hurt as Angus Tuck. Sissy Spacek is decent, though she never is really given a chance to develop herself. The only thing that really hurts the film in the long wrong is the acting of the main characters. Neither Alexis Bledel nor Jonathan Jackson do a very good job as the leads. Jackson especially has his work cut out for him in the future, as he can hardly pull off many of his basic lines. Bledel, also, suffers at times when she is trying to do an emotional scene.
Aside from the acting, "Tuck Everlasting" is interesting enough. The only audience that will really love this film are young girls, but the rest can appreciate it for what it is.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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