Went to a free preview of Tuck Everlasting this evening. It’s a splendid little movie, based on the equally splendid book by Natalie Babbitt. In it, Winnie (Alexis Bledel in her first credited role)–the sheltered daughter of a rich landowner–breaks free from her gilded cage, meets the Tuck family and learns their secret: they are immortal.
Warning: Spoilers ahead!
The time is 1914. Ninety years earlier, the Tucks drank from a mysterious spring at the base of an old oak tree. The water froze them in time. They never grow old. They cannot be killed. Wisely, they decide that this secret would cause chaos in the world. People would kill each other to possess their secret. And time has taught them the hard way, that living forever is not all it’s cracked up to be (just ask any vampire). They hide themselves deep in the woods.
As the film begins, mother Tuck (Sissy Spacek) is headed into town to meet her sons–as she does every ten years. Theirs is a bittersweet existence. The older son, Miles (Scott Bairstow) watched his wife and children grow old and die, and he still bears the scars and resentment of that ordeal. Yet, their family home lies in an unspoiled paradise, and the boys spend their time traveling the world.
Winnie’s overprotective mother (Amy Irving) keeps her close to her breast. The girl is not allowed outside the confines of her iron-fenced yard…or her corset and the duties of a well-bred lady. When her parents decide to send her away to a boarding school, Winnie runs away into the forest, where she meets Jesse Tuck (Jonathan Jackson) and falls in love.
This is a sweet, beautifully filmed movie. It’s not going to compete with the blockbusters, and it’s not artsy enough to be a cult film. But it’s a nice evening with the wife and kids, and it gets you thinking a little bit about life and what you’re doing with it.
See it for Ben Kingsley’s performance, if nothing else.
Preacher: “Sir, you speak blasphemy!”
[ Also posted at Blogcritics ]