Silvertongue on the Silver Screen (and DVD)

January 25, 2010 at 10:53 am

Inkheart from New Line Cinema; starring Brendan Fraser, Paul Bettany, Helen Mirren and Jim Broadbent; 2008.

The Folchart family is gifted.  Resa is a talented artist and Meggie, her daughter, loves to write.  Mo Folchart loves to read aloud to his wife and daughter.  It is his gift; more of a gift than he ever imagined, as it turns out.  Mo is a Silvertongue:  Whatever he reads comes alive.  However, whatever comes out of a story has to be replaced with something or someone from our reality entering the book.  Sadly, while reading Inkheart, a character is released and Resa, Mo’s wife, is sucked into the story.  Mo and Meggie travel the globe looking for a copy of the book to read Resa out of the book and back into reality.  what ensues is a rollicking adventure, with characters from The Wizard of Oz, Inkheart and other tales, as well as supporting characters like Aunt Elinore and Inkheart’s fictional author.

Brendan Fraser reprises his reluctant-hero chops as Mo “Silvertongue” Folchart.  Helen Mirren is surprisingly cold and warm (intentionally) as Aunt Elinore.  But the real main character of this movie is Books.  Books can take us to far away lands and distant planets, without leaving our homes, as Aunt Elinore points out.  The PG rating is for fantasy adventure action, some scary moments and brief language.  Overall, it is a fun escape film that the whole family can enjoy.

I wish I had read the book by Cornelia Funke before watching this movie.  How will my reading experience be different after viewing the film?  I prefer to read the book first, however I am frequently disappointed by the film version.  Perhaps seeing the characters alive on the screen will enhance the reading experience.  I realize the surprise of the silvertongue gift has been ruined, but I think I’ll enjoy having the characters fleshed out more (the book is enormous, after all).

I would definitely promote this movie (and the Inkheart series by Funke) during library and reading promotions, like National Library Week or Right to Read Week.  At the beginning of the movie, the narrator weaves us into the story with these words: “Since the dawn of time, storytellers have enchanted audiences with their words. But there is an even rarer gift. There are those, who by reading out loud, can bring characters to life. Out of books and into our world.”  What a great tagline for a library or reading week promotion!


Entry filed under: Children's DVD adapted from a Children's Book, Children's Full-length Movie. Tags: , , , , , .

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