Monday, August 9, 2010

Eleanor's Secret *Movie Review*

Seven-year-old Nathaniel goes to spend the summer vacation in the seaside villa that belonged to his old aunt Eleanor. Nathaniel's parents inherited the villa and Nathaniel also received a gift in his aunt's will: a whole library of old books. The inheritance doesn't much interest him until he discovers that the books are inhabited--Captain Hook, Alice and even the Wicked Fairy all live inside. These tiny heroes of children's literature need Nathaniel to protect them and all he has to do is to read the magic inscription in the library to keep them alive. But Nathaniel still has problems with reading and before he can decipher the inscription the books are sold to a secondhand dealer. Nathaniel, now shrunk by the Wicked Fairy to the size of the storybook heroes, must try to save his tiny friends and their stories.

So I'm not sure what it says about me that I went out of my way, way out of my way, yesterday to go to the free viewing of this movie at the National Gallery of Art. This original showed up on my radar due to the Free Things to Do in DC blog and once I realized it was about books/reading I was hooked. I probably should have been deterred when I saw that it was a kids movie, but it is a foreign kids movie, which in my opinion usually means it's more suitable to be enjoyed by people of all ages.

It was so cute to walk into the auditorium at the Gallery and see all the kids with their parents!

When the movie began I was hit with two things right off the bat- 1) the film's artwork was very interesting to see, with its very obvious tie to the illustrations in picture books, and 2) Nathaniel's sister was a brat! (she redeems herself in the end, but still!) The movie is rated for 6 years old and up I think, but I did notice some of the younger children pop up with cries of being afraid, so keep that in mind if you're interested in taking your kids to see this. Eleanor's Secret didn't quite hold my attention, I think the storyline's a little slow in places, but it is a kids movie, and if you're looking for something inspiring to watch then this movie definitely fits the bill. I think as we age we forget how scary reading can be if you don't pick it up immediately. Nathaniel is an incredibly sympathetic character, one the viewer is rooting for right from the beginning, and when he's combined with funny renditions of well known childhood literary heroes, the whole thing hits just the right emotional notes.

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up.