Bridge to Terabithia (Csupo, 2007)

Every once in a while someone (usually my girlfriend) convinces me to watch a film I normally would never consider seeing. Bridge to Terabithia, a sometimes affecting and always well meaning fantasy film for kids, falls into this viewing category. The CGI effects are used sparingly and it’s a good thing since the film obviously had no budget. The real discoveries here are the two young stars who save the film from becoming just another annoying kiddy flick. They are Josh Hutchinson who plays Jess, a quiet and refreshingly lonely boy with a skill for drawing, and AnnaSophia Robb as Leslie Burke, the girl who brings out his greatest emotions and imaginings. When these two are on screen, the film takes on a certain resonance of kids at play, learning about their own imaginations with gusto instead of fear. However, the film is directed so blandly the story ends up suffering as well. The great “open your mind” theme rings loud and clear with this writer.

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