At The Movies – The Magic of Belle Isle

2016 At the movies June 2016

By Suzanne A. Marshall from the June 2016 Edition

Starring: Morgan Freeman, Virginia Madsen

Director: Rob Reiner

“Monty Wildhorn, an alcoholic novelist of Westerns, has lost his drive. His nephew pushes him to summer in quiet Belle Isle. He begrudgingly befriends a newly single mom and her 3 girls who help him find the inspiration to write again.”

Not only is Monty an alcoholic but he is also disabled and living in a wheelchair. He is brought to Belle Isle to enjoy the summer and hopefully find himself again. But no matter how hard Monty tries to be a miserable old coot, it doesn’t play that way in this role.

So the film ends up being kind of sweet, schmaltzy and sad but unfortunately not too believable. This may be because I just can’t buy Morgan Freeman in this role. I’ve had too much exposure to his fatherly and wise personas in other movies I think. The setting of Belle Isle is beautiful and the kids and dog in the story do a good job of softening up Monty’s character as the story unfolds.

If you like sweet and sentimental and are just looking for some nice story without a lot of violence, language or angst, this movie may well entertain you. It does have ‘feel good’ qualities and a happy ending.

IMDB rating: 7/10 based on 12,410 viewers. A bit over-rated for me.

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