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Trailer Blazer: 'Nim's Island'

Once upon a time, I’d have said that multiple Oscar-winning actress Jodie Foster could do anything and sell it to the camera. But after seeing this…

                                       

…I think I’ve gotta revise that statement. There is one thing she can’t do: hapless. I’m all for actors realizing that their body of work isn’t appropriate for their own kids, and so they make a family film as a result. I’m convinced that’s why most of the UK’s finest are lining up to be in Harry Potter flicks. But this warmed-over take on Romancing the Stone—timid genre novelist must shed her cloistered life and plunge into the very world she writes about—just feels so forced, so lacking in spirit, that I can’t imagine any kid opting for this over, say, braces. And Jodie looks so out of her element it’s a little painful to watch. Every character she’s ever played has had a sense of command; and despite her mistakes, she’s always been the captain of her own fate. But here, she just looks lost at sea…sometimes literally. (And poor Gerard Butler is well on his way to squandering all that goodwill he earned in 300. This and P.S: I Love You are no way to cultivate the crowd that made you a star.)

Granted, I could be wrong—I thought Alvin and the Chipmunks looked like a steaming pile of bad and it made, like, a gazillion dollars and counting—but Nim’s could well be the answer to “What if they threw a family film and nobody came?”

Originally posted January 15 2008 — 4:18 PM EST

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