THE EDUCATION OF LITTLE TREE | EW.com

Movies

C-

”The Education of Little Tree,” (Paramount, PG) White folks are boot-wearing boors and Native Americans are nature lovers who understand the value of moccasins in this cloying adaptation of the chokingly uplifting 1976 novel of the same name by Forrest Carter. (That Carter turned out to be the pseudonym of a racist and alleged Ku Klux Klansman passing fiction off as autobiography is an irony beyond this brief’s scope.)

Screenwriter Richard Friedenberg, in his feature directorial debut, attempts the same slice-of-Americana nostalgia he brought to his script for A River Runs Through It, telling the story of an orphan (Joseph Ashton) raised during the Depression by his wise Cherokee granny (Tantoo Cardinal from Dances With Wolves) and white-but-okay grandpa (L.A. Confidential’s James Cromwell, in lovable Babe mode). But with all the cinematic tree hugging going on here, it’s darn near impossible to enjoy the forest.