Saturday, January 4, 2014

Magic of Belle Island - 2012

The is not a review or a plot description, this is a record of how the movie made me feel.

I have seen this movie once before, but I can't remember anything about it. I do know I enjoy watching movies with Morgan Freeman, he is one of my favorite actors.

Monte Wildhorn, (Morgan Freeman), was great, so it the story. I laughed, felt good, and even cried. I tried to figure out which of the Belle Islands this movie referred to, never did succeed. While trying to look it up, I found that the movie was filmed at Greenwood lake in New York.

As the movie opens, Henry, Monte's nephew is driving him to the isle. The first ten minutes have some touching moments, some fun such as Charlotte standing on the roof wetting it down, there was a fire on the other side of the lake. Henry says, There's something you do not see every day, a beautiful woman on a roof. Charlotte saying, "Girls its not polite to stare" and then they all resumed staring at Monte as he heads up the ramp after arriving at the lakefront cottage. As I write this, I am writing from a lake house and lake living has been a part of my since I was a boy, seeing the lake scenes. was very nostalgic for me.

As much as I like Morgan Freeman, it is hard to like Monte, he is such a grumpy guy. When I first saw Charlotte O'Neil, (Virginia Madsen ) in her strategic location next door to Monte, I found myself wondering is there was a possibility of a deep friendship, or even love, (after all age difference means what to who?).  Though have to say, the first time they met, Monte did everything he could to alienate her.

Willow Tree, (Madeline Carroll), the oldest of Charlotte's daughters, shows up very early in the movie. She is your classic disaffected teen permanently attached to her smart phone. I suppose that I have a bias against rude teenage girls. One of my close friends and his wife came to visit us, (we have guests quite often, seeing as we live at a beach when we are not living on a lake). Anyway, they had one of these rude teens in tow and it was amazing how uncomfortable she could make us feel. But, Willow had her first, but not last, moment of decency and that was a turning point for Monte.

Monte is watching his neighbor on the opposite side of the house play basketball and drop with what I think is a massive heart attack. Monte says, "That is why I always refrain from any sort of exercise."

As the movie progressives Monte starts to develop some relationships and mellow out and I start to like him. In particular I loved his talks with Ringo, er, uh Spot, the labrador he is taking care of.

The relationship between Monte and Finnegan is my favorite. They do have a special bonding and it is touching. The angry Finnegan approached by Monte is a wonderful scene and leads to a stronger appreciation for both characters. I start to feel a happy ending is within the realm of possible futures.

Not going to talk about some more scenes, but the movie is incredibly touching, they take us through the range of emotions and keep unveiling new plot bits.

I am thankful to have this movie in my lakehouse library and I want to see it several times in the months to come.

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