Monday, November 5, 2012
Big Miracle - a fun family movie based on a true story
I wanted to see this movie on the big screen, but never did. I wish I had. It would have been beautiful. I have no idea how they filmed the scenes of whales trapped beneath Alaskan ice. Fabulous.
I rented the movie (through Redbox - with no bonus explanatory material) and thoroughly enjoyed it. I remember reading a movie review complaining that the Greenpeace worker played by Drew Barrymore speaks in preaching paragraphs. I found that completely believable, and slightly comical. Some of the other characters are a bit cartoonish also, but it's forgiveable because overall, the movie has a big heart.
The film tells the amazing true 1988 story of how some California grey whales were trapped beneath Arctic ice but - despite daunting odds - were saved through the cooperation of Greenpeace; television reporters and cameramen; Inupiat tribespeople; Minnesota guys with their invention, a de-icing machine for ice fishermen; helicopter pilots; the United States government; the U.S. military; the CEO of an oil company; the government of the U.S.S.R. (funny line: "Gorby? It's Ronnie"); and an enormous Soviet ice cutter.
It's heartening to see a story of cooperation between "enemy" nations, whatever the cause of the cooperation. This is one reason why I love to read the publication of The International Crane Foundation, located in Baraboo, Wisconsin. For instance, for the sake of endangered cranes, I've read that the two Koreas have come together to protect habitat. The two Koreas!
A fun side note: the movie includes archival television footage. We get to see very a young Peter Jennings, Dan Rather, and Tom Brokaw reporting on the real-life events. And there's one surprise: a TV report by a certain Sarah Heath, a very pretty woman with dark hair and glasses. She bears some resemblance to a future governor of Alaska and vice presidential candidate!
Another fun feature is the collage of photos flashed during the end credits, showing the real-life people with their Hollywood counterparts.
I love anything that shows the best of human beings. "Big Miracle" is a great movie for the whole family. I would watch it again.
Teacher Gail's grade: a solid A.