Bridge to Terabithia ***
Directed by Gabor Csupo
Written by Jeff Stockwell and David Paterson, based on the book by Katherine Paterson
Josh Hutcherson as Jesse
AnnaSophia Robb as Leslie
Zooey Deschanel as Ms. Edmonds
Robert Patrick as Jack Aarons
Bailee Madison as May Belle
Lauren Clinton as Janice Avery
95 Minutes(Rated PG for thematic elements including bullying, some peril and mild language.)
For lack of time, the following is a minute review. . .
"Bridge to Terabithia" is easily the best children's flick around, and possibly even the best to find in the mainstream crowd. And it sad part is that it was marketed all wrong. I read the book back when I was in the fourth grade or so, and the only thing I remembered was the ending-so it was kind of like rediscovering it on a clean slate. This is marketed as an action/adventure story, more in the vein of "Chronicles of Narnia." But those who go in expecting this will be sadly disappointed, but should be happy with the outcome. What we get instead is a beautiful story of friendship, love, loss, and even honor. And it ends up being even a little better than "Narnia."
The film centers on Jesse, the outcast in school and his family. His sisters tease him, he is bullied at school, and his parents don't really say anything about either. He is adored by his sister May Belle, but that's about all. And then in school he meets the new girl, Leslie, who is thrown aside by everyone in school because she doesn't have a television-and the fact that she is smarter, brighter, and can run faster than anybody else. And the two form a friendship, a very close one, because the truth is they both need each other. And then they form a magical place in the woods called Terabithia, which they could only get to by swinging across a rope in the creek behind their houses. Here they have their adventures, cool off from the pressures of life, and get to be with each other, which is all they need.
Josh Hutcherson and AnnaSophia Robb carry the film perfectly, and the entire thing does root itself into their acting. This is overall a good movie, not perfect, but something better to see than anything else. For kids especially, enough of "Night at the Museum," and more "Bridge to Terebithia." And bonus points for sticking Zooey Deschanel in the cast, who manages to make "cool" of every single character she plays. "Bridge to Terabithia" is my recommendation for anything around-warm enough to melt the coldest heart, and sad enough to open the floodgates.