Movie Review : The Magic of Belle Isle

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Rating: 0.5/5

For some reason I’ve always been under the impression that Morgan Freeman is a good actor. But the more of his work I come across – Bruce Almighty, Evan Almighty -  the more I’m wondering if that impression has been misplaced. I find it hard to dismiss him on the basis of a few duds though. Maybe he just threw in a few no brainers amongst his cinematography for the heck of it…or more likely for the lovely checks that came in his name afterwards.

I'm going to chalk The Magic of Belle Isle upto another one of his no brainers. Because if I don't, I will be forced to chip away at my impression of his dedication to fine cinema. I won’t go into too many details because I was taught that if I didn’t have anything nice to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all which would technically mean I should stop talking about this movie right now.

Mr.Freeman plays - no let me rephrase - he attempts to play a cranky disillusioned  grumpy old writer who has stopped writing due to personal tragedy and general annoyance with life. Which is fine. I get that. Sometimes enough is enough. #lifesucks
 If that is the character, then go for it. But you frequently notice that he can’t keep up the pretense and his guard slips to let out the nice friendly compassionate old man out. I wish the writers would have picked and let him – and the script - stick to it. My one question is, how did the director, a man who gave us When Harry Met Sally, let this happen? What happened?!


Which isn’t the only thing that annoyed me. #duh #igaveita0.5

A.    If you closed your eyes and listened to the dialogues you would have a hard time placing the movie in the 21st century. They are more in line with  a 19th century novel, or Downtown Abbey, which is vaguely interesting at points,  odd and disconcerting at other points.

B.    The romance between Mr.Freeman and the neighbour, the  newly divorced mother of three young girls, one of whom takes a liking to Mr. Freeman and strikes a mentoring bargain with him – it’s just plain weird and awkward.

C.     I know it’s supposed to be a feel good movie, blah blah blah, but on an excursion to an island in the middle of the lake they live near, one of the daughters finds a box of memories in a tree that their mom had buried there many many many moons ago. And she just happens to stumble upon it without even searching. #reelvsreality 

             They (the daughters) then proceed to open the box ( RUDE!) and take it all apart. If you    can’t tell, I was fuming by this point. They give the box to her one morning but I can clearly see most of her stuff isn’t in there… where did it all go?!?!?! #heartattackhappeningoverhere

D.    Don’t even get me started on the side characters and sub plots that are tried to be skillfully woven into and around the movie’s plot.  Sorry. I’m on to you. It didn’t work.

E. He is in a wheelchair and has lost the use of his left arm. I feel so bad for him, having to live life like that all alone. But I'm also curious, how is he putting his shirts on?


I will say this, the only thing that I did really enjoy was the setting of the film. I could look at that view of the lake and the dense tree filled island all day. I even found myself wishing for a house there, it seemed so peaceful and idyllic.

For that, literally just for that, I’ve given the movie a 0.5. Don’t watch it, even if you’re really bored. It’ll tip you over the edge into bored to death.


~Rumi



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