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The Green Life: Movie Review Friday: Bridge to Terabithia

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May 29, 2009

Movie Review Friday: Bridge to Terabithia

Escape to the movies with one of our Movie Review Friday selections. Each week we review a film with an environmental theme that’s currently in theaters or available on DVD. Seen a good eco-flick lately? Send us a short review and look for it in the next Movie Review Friday.

Bridge to Terabithia (2007)
Available on DVD

Terabithia is an overgrown backwoods region in which two outcast kids form a lasting friendship, create a mythic world, and develop a truer sense of themselves. Based on Katherine Paterson's novel (written long before Richard Louv's Last Child in the Woods), Bridge to Terabithia depicts a coming of age in the wilderness that every child should have, but increasingly fewer do.

The movie's main characters, Jess and Leslie, don't suffer from today's much-bemoaned Nature Deficit Disorder. Leslie, Jess's spunky new neighbor, finesses her way into a friendship with the imaginative loner after beating him in the race he's been training for all summer. Their friendship flourishes thanks to the time they share in the woods, exploring and creating.

Delicately weaving together the forest's natural beauty and vivid, imaginative elements, the film manages to avoiding the cliche, cheesy moments it would be easy to revert to. Beautiful cinematography, timeless themes and an honest, nuanced script make it appealing for all ages. But have your hankies ready -- the ending is sure to draw tears.

--Jamie Hansen

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