"Captivating Tale of Love, Immortality, and C
Even though I teach middle school, I had not read this book. My students mentioned it often however, and as an instructor of Greek mythology, I became curious about the story when I learned its basic premise was immortality. (I have been told that there was much less a love interest between the teenagers in the book, however this emendation certainly lends a magical spark to the timeless story.) Upon seeing the movie, I can recommend it not only for its excellent treatment of this subject, but also as a film the whole family can enjoy and discuss afterward. In brief, this is the story of those (the family Tuck) who would seek to live forever. Unlike the mythological Tithonius however, who was granted everlasting life without eternal youth, the Tuck family becomes immortal from the moment they drink of the mystical pool at the foot of an ancient tree--a tree that will lend a poignant and touching climax to the end of the film. Suffice it to say, the acting is wonderful. High profile heavyweights such as Ben Kingsley, Sissy Spacek and William Hurt give predictable sterling performances. Victor Garber (Alias; Annie) is also excellent as the wealthy father. But Alexis Bledel (Gilmore Girls) as Winnie Foster is simply disarming. She is convincing and superb in her effort to balance her desire for love in a life outside of time, with her responsibility to live the life intended for her. The talent of the cast, as well as the curiosity of the storyline makes for few dull moments, and the conclusion left me with one wet Kleenex! This is a beautiful film--from the scenery, to the music, to the performances, to the plot. Yes, it might be simplistic and predictable, but it would take a crusty old grinch to say that this ninety minutes wasn't thoroughly delightful, and time well spent. In the end, the age-old questions remain--is immortality all we would dream it to be? Is it quantity, or quality of life that is important? Does living forever make one unique and privileged, or does it (as Tuck would say) make one merely a rock stuck in a mud bank beside a flowing stream? And where does love fit into this equation? Is being given the love of your life, or loving the life you're given the more appropriate choice? The answer is found in Winnie's final decision on whether or not to drink from the eternal pool--a decision I could not have made.
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