A film directed by Rob Reiner or starring Morgan Freeman is usually one I’ll watch, so a film that involved both went straight on my list.
The film follows the once famous author turned alcoholic, Monte Wildhorn (Morgan Freeman) as he moves to a rural town in search of inspiration. With the help of his next door neighbours, an attractive single mother (Virginia Madsen) and her three children, Monte’s rediscovers his passion for writing.
The Magic of Belle Isle is quite simply, a beautiful film. The story is heartwarming, sincere and inspiring.
The relationships Morgan Freeman’s character has with others are what it makes it so genuine, particularly with Finnegan, the middle daughter and neighbour, Carl. Another noteworthy relationship is the one he shares with dog, Ringo (the last of what were once four dogs named after The Beatles) whom he calls Spot as he believes it a more appropriate name for a dog. It made me laugh every time the two interacted not just because Morgan Freeman had conversations with Spot, but because he said such cool things, such as saying “be seated” instead of sit.
It was clear from the trailer that there was a romantic element to the relationship Monte has with Charlotte, the single mother. Whilst I’m usually all for romance (obsessed with is a more apt description) I couldn’t help but feel this pairing was a little too weird, considering the age gap. I’m aware that it is just a story, and regardless, age shouldn’t matter but…really? Then again…it is Morgan Freeman…his voice alone could charm pretty much anyone I’m sure. The man is basically a god (Bruce Almighty hit the nail on the head I think). When you’re watching a Rob Reiner film as well, you can expect nothing less.
If you have read my review of Dark Shadows you’ll be aware of the rule I have imposed for certain actors, whereby I shall mention their acting if it is anything less than the genius expected from them. Morgan Freeman, of course, fits into this category and so I have nothing to add about his performance in this film.
As for the rest of the cast, Virginia Madsen’s performance was very good and it was also nice to see some not so familiar faces. The three girls’ performances were such that their faces will no doubt become more familiar in years to come.
The film exceeded my expectations and is generally just nice to watch. If you’re a fan of Rob Reiner’s style, Morgan Freeman or if you just love feel good movies, I strongly recommend this one.