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The Green Life: Movie Review Friday: Cast Away

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June 04, 2010

Movie Review Friday: Cast Away

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.

Cast Away (2000)

Available on DVD

Cast Away is the ultimate tale of wilderness survival, a clear portrayal of nature’s immediate physical – and eventual inspirational – power over man.

When FedEx executive Chuck Noland goes down with one of the company’s cargo planes in the middle of the Pacific, the businessman is forced to choose between dying alone on a deserted island or surviving long enough to find a way off it. Though initially discouraged by a lack of cooked food, protection from the sun, and people to talk to, he learns, with time, that persistence pays and survival starts with hope.

Tom Hanks received his fifth Oscar nomination for his portrayal of the marooned man. His performance delivers the necessary emotional roller coaster, and his physical transformation is as mesmerizing as it is heartbreaking. Helen Hunt, another Oscar winner, plays the fiancée left behind, and she does it in a beautifully tragic way. Director Robert Zemeckis’s sweeping shots of the stunning island (in real life, it's in Fiji) make this film even worthier of watching.

While Cast Away moves slowly at times, the film manages to share not only a unique and enthralling version of the clichéd, romantic notion of being stranded on a deserted island, but also insight into nature’s ultimate supremacy, suggesting, perhaps, the importance of humans working with their natural surroundings rather than against them.

--Sarah A. Henderson

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