Tuck Everlasting Jay Russell

Tuck Everlasting Jay Russell
As far as Disney adaptations of children's literature are concerned, Tuck Everlasting is surprisingly faithful to the original version. Granted, certain details have been tweaked or omitted altogether, but overall the film is a fair representation of Natalie Babbitt's classic 1975 novel. Alexis Bledel plays Winnie Foster, a young girl who feels stifled by her overprotective family. After running away out of frustration, she becomes lost in the woods and stumbles upon Jesse Tuck (Jonathan Jackson) and, later, his family's secret immortality. Bledel and Jackson are well cast as the young lovers, even if their romance is noticeably more pronounced than in the novel. Although their characters tend to be wooden, at times, their performances are bolstered by a strong supporting cast, featuring lively portrayals by Sissy Spacek, William Hurt and Ben Kingsley. Director Jay Russell is successful in bringing the characters to life on the screen, despite being lesser versions of their novel counterparts. Meanwhile, director of photography James L. Carter imbues the film with an elegant, mystical beauty that lives up to Babbitt's vision. The "Lessons of Tuck" bonus option interrupts the movie at key points to offer discussion on the various moral issues raised by the story. Hosted by Jackson, these intermittent scenes feature a montage of Russell, Babbitt, screenwriter James Hart, cast members, and teenagers sharing their views on perfect love, secrets and, of course, immortality. While nothing earth-shattering is revealed, especially for anyone with a passing interest in philosophy, these "lessons" provide additional educational value for younger audiences. In the end, they are bound to learn something as they lose themselves in the endearing tale of the Tucks. Extras: Audio commentary by director and screenwriter; commentary by director and cast members; "Lessons of Tuck" additional scenes and "A Visit with Natalie Babbitt" featurette. (Disney/Buena Vista)