Film Scouts Reviews

"Fly Away Home"

by Leslie Rigoulot

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Movies like "Fly Away Home" serve an important purpose at film festivals. After seeing too many film noir downers and 'films' fraught with symbolism, it is nice to see something uplifting, light-hearted and fun. In fact, it is essential Academy Award winner, Anna Paquin is dealing with her mother's death and her sudden reunion with her estranged father portrayed by Jeff Daniels. He is an inventor and sculptor living on a farm in Canada where Paquin discovers fifteen goose eggs. They have been left motherless through an act of real estate development and they attach themselves to the first living being they see, Paquin. Trouble comes in the form of a wildlife officer who informs them that the geese must have their wings clipped since they are being raised out of the wild. A plan is devised to assist the geese to fly to safety.

Jeff Daniels is surprisingly good as an eccentric who must learn to relate to his daughter. He has redeemed himself in my eyes for "Dumb and Dumber". And as I predicted Anna Paquin is quite the scene thief. But Dana Delany holds her own as the girlfriend who tries to make peace. It is Carroll Ballard's visuals of the geese on the ground and in flight that capture the heart though. Just as he did with "The Black Stallion" Ballard gives us much more than an animal story. Tree huggers versus developers, orphaned geese and an almost orphaned girl, man and geese in flight all combine for a great adventure made all the more enjoyable because it is based on a true story.

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