Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tuck Everlasting (2002)

Natalie Babbitt's Tuck Everlasting is quickly becoming one of my favorite books.  It holds a special place in my heart.  My parents and sister had watched the movie version starring Alexis Bledel years before, but all I remember hearing about it was that it was heartbreakingly sad, and thus I'd airily dismissed it (this was before I read the book, understand).  But then I began to appreciate the book, and decided to try it out after all.

By the way, y'all should be prepared for a very picture-heavy review.

Reaction?  

It was perfect.

Seriously, I really do think it was about as perfect an adaptation as a movie possibly could be.  Yes, I know some things were changed.  Yes, I know Winnie is older than she's supposed to be, and that they over-romanticize Jesse's and her relationship.  Yes, I know they spend more time in the beginning of the movie portraying Winnie's home life than Babbitt does in her book.  

I still think it's perfect.  


First of all, Alexis Bledel was perfect.  She captured Winnie's youthfulness, curiosity, shyness, and wanderlust beautifully.  

I like that Winnie, though she is fifteen instead of eleven in this version, is not portrayed as a "typical angsty teenager."  She has issues with her parents, certainly, but she isn't a brat.  She doesn't jerk away from her father and mother when she's brought back, even in the midst of pain over her separation from the Tucks.  She is forgiving, tries to be as mature as she can, and in the end shows wisdom beyond her years when she makes her ultimate choice about the spring.  


Jonathan Jackson was perfect.  Gawky, adorable, bubbling, affable, and joyful, he was impossibly endearing as Jesse.  I think I loved him more in the movie than in the book (not that I don't like him in the book, of course, but ya know what I mean).  

Ben Kingsley was…good;)  His hair annoyed me to no end, but other than that, he did a wonderful job as the Man in the Yellow Suit.  He was mysterious, calculating, but with a hint of good potential sufficient to make you regret his end.  (I liked the line:  "You speak blasphemy, sir."  "Fluently." *chuckle*  It just added a bit to the revelation of his antagonistic tendencies.)


Surprisingly, the romance didn't bother me.  I mean, think about it.  The potential  romance was always there in the novel, so I don't really mind them realizing that potential for the movie version.  Really, I like that this adaptation is just different enough to be interesting, and close enough to the book to be satisfactory.  Jesse and Winnie were such a sweet example of a good adolescent relationship--tender, appropriate, and founded on friendship.  (And their first meeting was perrrrrfect.  Oh mah word.)


The cast worked extremely well together, meshing into their appropriate relationships admirably.  One of the only issues I have with the movie, however, is the casting of Angus Tuck.  I just…William Hurt didn't do it for me.  The monotony of his voice and the lack of facial expression contributed to a general feeling of apathy about his portrayal of the fatherly Tuck.  (Maybe that's just me, though.)


Stylistically, the movie was delectable.  The scenery, costuming, props, and that gorgeous music amalgamated flawlessly into the sweeping vista that is Tuck Everlasting.  Pacing was possibly just the leeeeetlest bit "off," but only in certain parts, and I got over that very quickly.

*sigh*  I'm rambling, so to sum up…just gah.  IT WAS AMAZING AND IT MADE ME SO HAPPY.  Such an unprecedentedly faithful movie adaptation of a beautiful book was so refreshing.  I loved it.  And that ending!  Brimstone and gall, that ENDING!


I just…I can't…the music…and Jesse's face…and the slow-motion…and the flashbacks (I'm a sucker for flashbacks at the end of a movie)…

Basically, this gif encapsulates my feelings about this movie:











  

40 comments:

  1. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Oh, Olivia, I've wanted to see this movie for so long!! BECAUSE FIRST OF ALL WINNIE'S DRESSSS. The whiiiite one.

    Ahh, this movie looks so adorable and cute and cosy and beautiful. I. NEED. TO. SEE. ITTTT.

    ~ Naomi

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    1. Naomi, you must watch it!! You will DIIIIIIEEE--the costumes are soooo scrumptious, and the music, and just the general feel of it...gaaahh.

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    2. Ok, I want to rewatch it. I love this movie. I'VE NEVER READ THE BOOK. But I own it. :)

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    3. Yes, yes, yes!!! You should do both, Jillian:D

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  2. Wow, that looks like a good cast - the actress who plays Winnie looks JUST like I've always thought that she looked :)

    I read Tuck Everlasting several years ago, but I didn't like it - I'm not sure whether the supernatural suggestiveness scared me or whether the story dilemmas were just too much for me. I do know that I didn't really like Winnie and Jesse together - mostly because Winnie was so young. And in the background was the idea that if they fell in LOVE with each other and MARRIED, Jesse would always stay the same age and Winnie would get old and die. I think that just kind of jarred on me :)

    Does that make sense? It was a while ago that I read it . . . Do they change anything in the movie - sort of to make the whole thing seem more real *this is happening people*?

    P.S. I just remembered the other reason I didn't like it - the man in the yellow suit. He scared me REALLY BADLY, I think because I could see right away how bad he was and Winnie couldn't - and she was so young that that just kind of scared me.

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    1. Yes, the cast is great!:)

      Aww, that's too bad. But yeah, I understand:-/ Oh, except that IF they had fallen in love and married in the book, Winnie would drink from the spring when she was the right age, and then she would have been "frozen in time" like Jesse. So it wouldn't have been QUITE as weird, hehe:P

      Yeah, that makes sense! Yes, they change the ages in the movie to fifteen and seventeen, and...well, I can't really explain without more spoilers, but yeah.

      P.S. The Man in the Yellow Suit IS pretty freaky. Especially since he doesn't even have a name *shudders*

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    2. How did you like the movie version of Jesse's older brother *tries to remember his name* - I think his name is Myles? Or something. Anyway, did they do a good job with him? I've actually always secretly liked him better than Jesse :P

      I'm glad they changed the ages. That makes the whole "romance" much more appropriate and less "wince-worthy", if you know what I mean :)

      Oh yes, I forgot about the spring - still, the dilemma is kind of frightening to me. Maybe I just read it when I was too young for it or something.

      Ugh! The Man in the Yellow Suit! Oh, yeah, that's right - he DOESN'T EVEN HAVE A NAME!!! Yikes! That kind of thing is so scary! I read him and I say, like Kristoff in Frozen, "YOU'RE CREEPY!" Although I think I am a lot more scared then Kristoff was when he said that :D

      P.S. Awwww, that flashback gif is so sweet :) Makes me think that if I watched the movie I would probably like it better than the book.

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    3. Yep, Myles. Okay, so about him. They make him a little more bitter in the movie than he is in the book, but by the end he's come 'round and I really did like him.

      Haha, yes, I understand :P Yeah, it is still a little disturbing when I think too much about it:-/

      Hahaha! Yes! That reaction is perfect! XD

      Awww, thank you! Yeah, I may or may not have re-wound that scene about four times the first time I watched it...



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    4. Oh! His name was Myles! I got it right, what do you know :)

      Too bad he's more bitter - but still, mmmm, well, it's an unusual situation. I always thought in the book that he wasn't very believable the way he took it all so quietly. I mean, I guess the actor figured that a man would be more bitter over losing his wife and children and LIFE, so to speak, than the book portrayed.

      Glad you like it! I've been watching Frozen clips and I couldn't resist :D

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    5. Haha! Indeed you did:)

      Good point--I confess I didn't like him so much at the beginning, but by the end I did, and one does feel for him, y'know.

      Haha! Frozen is awesome.

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  3. Aww, it looks so good!! I remember when I heard the book on tape, or something, and just thought that the story was a bit creepy.... I mean after they drink the water they can't die... But maybe I will have to give it a second chance!

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    1. I definitely recommend giving it a second chance! From what I remember, I didn't like the book the first time I read it, either. As you can see, it's grown on me a little;P

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  4. I love picture-heavy reviews :)

    I also read Tuck Everlasting a good long time ago, and, like Rosie, it kind of bothered me--I think the whole Winnie-and-Jesse thing seemed weird, since she was so young. I bet I would probably like the movie a lot better than the book, for that reason--15 and 19 is MUCH more appropriate than 11 and 19 :) I also think I just wasn't a fan of Natalie Babbit's writing style. So yeah, I think I'd enjoy the movie way more than the book, if I watched it.

    That gif--I mean, the "flashback" one--it's perfect :)

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    1. Oh, good! I really like them, too, but sometimes I feel like I include too many:P

      Probably! I wasn't a huge fan at first either, but then it grew on me. I think I wouldn't ordinarily be a big admirer of her writing style, either, except that there are certain parts in the book that just GET me right in the FEELS, ya know?;D Heehee, but anyway, yes, do try the movie! I think you'd probably like it more!

      Squee, is it really?! Thanks so much! I had to make it because nobody else had, and I was a little concerned it was too choppy.

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    2. It's lovely :) If I ever get my novel published and they make a movie out of it and somebody can make a gif as beautiful as that from the movie--THEN I'll know I've written a good story. :) (That was a lot of "ifs" right there, wasn't it? :) )

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    3. They were good ifs - but I'd change them to "whens" if I were you. Because YOU CAN DO IT!! Yes, says me :) But really, I KNOW you can do it.

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    4. *blushes* Thank you so much, Rosie m'darling :) I shall do my best!

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    5. Aww! Thank you so much, Jessica!:D (But I agree with Rosie--not if, when.)

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    6. Thank you both--you're so sweet! :)

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  5. I haven't read the book OR seen the movie, BUT my sister and my mom did (read the book & watch the movie) several years ago and I kiiiiind of remember catching parts of it. I'd like to see it someday, especially since Sissy Spacek's in it -- she's one of my very favorite actresses.

    And just for the record, I don't like William Hurt either. Have you seen The Village? UGH UGH UGH.

    Great review! :-)

    ~Emma

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    1. You should! Sissy Spacek does very well as Mae:D

      Yeah. Blech. Nope, I haven't seen The Village, but I think I've heard of it. Is it that one about a girl who's blind but sees certain colors when certain people come near her?

      Thanks so much!:)

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    2. The Village is a nightmare. Yes, that's the one, with the blind girl. My cousins watched it and loved it, so then they showed it to me and I was completely freaked out. I thought it was terrifying, for some reason -- I can't do horror movies, with my vivid imagination! ;-P Don't watch it.

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    3. Oh, yikes! Yeah, I probably shouldn't, then:P

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  6. I LOVE THIS MOVIE!!!! And the book was my favorite for a long time.

    It really is just such a pretty movie. :)

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  7. I have never heard of this movie or book!! It looks so cute! Now I've got to go find it, and watch it. :)

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    1. Yes, do, Morgan! It's lovely. Bittersweet and poignant, but lovely:)

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  8. First off, I like "picture-heavy" reviews! :) Secondly, I've only ever heard of Tuck Everlasting by the title so I'm quite unfamiliar with the story (I didn't even know there was a book!), but it sounds quite interesting. And the pictures are lovely!

    So, yeah. I guess I don't have anything else to say on the subject, except that this was a very nice review and I enjoyed reading it! :) Thanks, Olivia!

    Oh! And the gif you included! It's perfect! :) (What did you say about it? It "encapsulates" your feelings about this movie? Encapsulates? ...Oh, dear. I so need to broaden my vocabulary...) Haha! :D

    ~Miss March

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    1. Oh, goodie! I'm glad I'm not the only one;)

      It is wonderful! I highly recommend it:)

      Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

      (Heehee! Aw, shucks;D)

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  9. This movie...I love it! I always cry when Winnie returns home.

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  10. I loved the book SOOOO much, but it was so sad..... I feel so bad for Jesse ;3;
    I haven't seen the movie, though I really want to.

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    1. I know, right:( You should try it! I like it:D

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  11. I've never read the book but I saw this movie a couple years back.
    It...kind of weirded me out. :/
    Winnie's even younger in the book? Wow. The biggest thing that kind of creeped me out in the movie was just how young she was and that there was this sort of romance between her and Jesse.
    I feel like if she had been older I may have liked it better.
    Oh! But yes-the ending! That actually made me cry (I think) and I felt bad for thinking the movie kind of creepy. heehee Maybe if I tried it again I'd like it better. :)

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    1. Haha! I understand; I think if I hadn't had the book background I would've found it pretty weird, too.

      I KNOW--the feels!

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  12. This movie holds a fond memory for me. I remember that on my husband and my first anniversary, we didn't really have any money for exchanging special gifts, so he recorded this movie in advance from tv, so that we could sit and watch it together. One of my favorite things he did for me!

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    1. Oh, that is such a beautiful story! I hope I get a husband like that someday:)

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    2. Awe! I'm sure whoever you end up with will be wonderful!

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