Dol­phin car­ries the show

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Movies - LEIGH PAATSCH Now show­ing, Vil­lage Cine­mas Mor­gan Free­man: P6- 7

THIS unas­sail­ably whole­some fam­ily pic­ture is saved from go­ing to goo by the odd­ness of the true story it has to share.

A dol­phin named Win­ter lies wounded on a Florida beach af­ter be­com­ing ter­ri­bly tan­gled in a crab trap. The only way the stricken marine mam­mal can be saved is via the sur­gi­cal am­pu­ta­tion of its tail­fin. The loss of which, to a dol­phin, makes life in the open water al­most im­pos­si­ble.

En­ter plucky 11- year- old loner Sawyer ( Nathan Gam­ble), who comes up with the bril­liant idea that will save Win­ter from a life of cap­tiv­ity in an aquar­ium tank.

If hu­mans can cheat the curse of im­mo­bil­ity through the fit­ting of ar­ti­fi­cial limbs, why can’t the same prin­ci­ple be ap­plied to dol­phins?

And so, with the help of kindly pros­thet­ics en­gi­neer Dr Cameron Mc­carthy ( Mor­gan Free­man, pic­tured), Win­ter be­comes the proud owner of a new moulded tail­fin that re­turns him to his right­ful place in the ocean.

If that ain’t al­ready in­spi­ra­tional enough, Win­ter’s big come­back also lifts a young maimed sol­dier ( Austin Stow­ell) out of the dol­drums and pre­vents a grimy real es­tate de­vel­oper from clos­ing the lo­cal MARC ( Marine An­i­mal Res­cue Cen­tre).

There is no other way of putting it: Dol­phin Tale is a nice lit­tle film for na­ture- lov­ing pri­mary school­ers that would prob­a­bly play just as well as a tele­vi­sion spe­cial.

Many of the per­for­mances have a tired, strangely stilted qual­ity about them, as if ev­ery ac­tor is work­ing through their lines for the 100th time. No, make that ev­ery ac­tor ex­cept one. For Win­ter the dol­phin is played by the real Win­ter her­self, and she re­lives both the night­mares and tri­umphs of her past with in­fec­tious en­thu­si­asm and in­tel­li­gence.

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