Nim's Island (U)
May 2 2008 by Gary Slaymaker, Western Mail
If any more proof were needed that 12-year-old Abigail Breslin, Oscar-nominated star of Little Miss Sunshine, is destined for superstardom, look no further than Nim’s Island.
The little lady takes top billing here above two-time Academy Award winner Jodie Foster and action man Gerard Butler (300, P.S I Love You) and she fully merits the honour.
Nim (Breslin) lives on a lush South Pacific island with her scientist father Jack (Butler), playing with her animal pals while her father studies plankton.
In quiet moments, Nim loves to settle down with the latest adventure book by treasure-hunter Alex Rover, so when her dad is lost at sea during a monsoon, Nim sends an SOS to Rover.
Little does Nim know that Rover is actually Alexandra (Foster), an agoraphobic San Francisco author, and getting her to help find Nim’s father will be a lot tougher than expected.
The star of the show is undoubtedly Breslin, who is absolutely luminous as the driven daddy’s girl, and doesn’t strike a single false emotional note in either humour or pathos. Foster, in her first comedy since the disastrous Maverick with Mel Gibson in 1994, does a brilliant job as the agoraphobic and compulsive obsessive who almost hyperventilates when she runs out of antiseptic hand wash.
It’s a film concerned with journeys and courage and while some of the sermonising is a little heavy-handed, younger audiences, especially, should lap up Nim’s gung-ho exploits.
A good children’s film that parents can enjoy too.