The Magic of Belle Isle

Saturday, December 03 rd, 2016 at 00:12 am 

The Magic of Belle Isle

JOY REVIEW

This is a Rob Reiner film, and if you’re thinking treacle, you’d be right. The main reason to see this movie is that Morgan Freeman is wonderful in this. The writing is kind of purple prose and Morgan seems to be the only person who can give any sort of degree of life to it as much as anything else. He is in a wheelchair, which doesn’t give away a whole lot, living in a small town with four women — three girls and their in-the-process-of-divorce mother, who is played by Virginia Madsen, who is interesting looking but not a very good actress. Fred Willard, when he comes on screen, adds a certain degree of hilarity and camp, which the movie desperately needs; we wish he could be in more of the movie. And, this is a story about how Morgan finds his mojo. He writes Western stories with a protagonist, and since his wife died, he doesn’t care. And, we find out how he got in the wheelchair and on and on and on. Do we care about any of this? Well, we care about Morgan because he’s such a good actor. The rest of the movie, if he weren’t in it, no one, I think, would release this movie, let alone go see it. With Morgan, it’ll probably do a little business. Two-and-a-half stars.

Joy Meter