Starring Morgan Freeman and Harry Connick Jr, Dolphin Tale is a family-friendly feel-good movie with a positive message.
Dolphin Tale Director: Charles Martin Smith Starring: Nathan Gamble, Harry Connick Jr, Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman ***
In Hollywood, it seems the more "family-friendly" a movie is, the more likely it is to make money. This past weekend in the US, the animated film Puss In Boots topped the box office and the recent 3D re-release of The Lion King made more than most "new" releases. Dolphin Tale is another example of this: a small movie based on a true story, it became number one in its second week and more than doubled its initial budget. Shy, friendless Sawyer (Gamble) comes across Winter, a dolphin caught in a net on the beach. Sawyer develops a rare connection with Winter, who "plays" herself in the film, but the outlook is as bleak as her tail is amputated: she can't swim. Sawyer asks a prosthetics expert (Freeman) to help, and it's a race against time to save her. The characters are well-rounded and believable: Gamble is earnest and engaging as the lead; Judd stands out as Sawyer's mother and Freeman adds gravitas to the story as only he can. Though riddled with clichés, the message is soft and positive and the film's feel-good air is seductive. Those looking to leave the cinema with a warm glow should seek this one out.