Adapted from the award-winning novel by Natalie Babbitt, Alexis Bledel of TV’s “Gilmore Girls” stars as Winnie Foster in this live-action adventure from Disney. At the turn of the century, Winnie’s parents want her to attend finishing school back east, which means leaving the town of Tree Gap and the woods that surround her home. Running away from the stifling atmosphere of her house, Winnie gets lost in the woods and meets Jesse Tuck, a 17-year-old-boy played by Jonathan Jackson, who’s unlike any she’s met before. Oscar© winners John Hurt and Sissy Spacek play Jesse’s parents, who aren’t sure what to do with Winnie after she discovers their secret. Another Oscar© notable, Sir Ben Kingsley, plays the man in the yellow suit who’s looking for the Tucks secret as well. Soon Winnie must decide whether to share the Tucks’ life or forget Jesse completely. Younger audiences will get restless, but pre-teens and older will enjoy Winnie’s adventure in the woods.
This story looks at the idea of immortality and living forever, and its emphasis is on this life, rather than an after-life experience. Several Bible passages are read at the funeral of a character who dies. The film is refreshingly free of strong language, but several scenes involve minor scuffles. There are some shootings although the shootings are few and relatively bloodless, but a mortal blow over the head means doom for one character. “Tuck Everlasting” does have an interesting love story and can be enjoyed by pre-teens and older viewers, and may generate some interesting discussion points with parents. Although a bit slow moving in the beginning, the story picks up soon into the film, and it manages to arouse the viewer’s curiosity. We approve this film for ages twelve and above, and we award it four Doves.