Movies like "Fly Away Home" serve an important purpose at film
festivals. After seeing too many film noir downers and 'films' fraught with
symbolism, it is nice to see something uplifting, light-hearted and fun.
In fact, it is essential Academy Award winner, Anna Paquin is dealing
with her mother's death and her sudden reunion with her estranged father
portrayed by Jeff Daniels. He is an inventor and sculptor living on a farm
in Canada where Paquin discovers fifteen goose eggs. They have been left
motherless through an act of real estate development and they attach themselves
to the first living being they see, Paquin. Trouble comes in the form of
a wildlife officer who informs them that the geese must have their wings
clipped since they are being raised out of the wild. A plan is devised
to assist the geese to fly to safety.
Jeff Daniels is surprisingly good as an eccentric who must learn to relate
to his daughter. He has redeemed himself in my eyes for "Dumb and
Dumber". And as I predicted Anna Paquin is quite the scene thief. But
Dana Delany holds her own as the girlfriend who tries to make peace. It
is Carroll Ballard's visuals of the geese on the ground and in flight that
capture the heart though. Just as he did with "The Black Stallion"
Ballard gives us much more than an animal story. Tree huggers versus developers,
orphaned geese and an almost orphaned girl, man and geese in flight all
combine for a great adventure made all the more enjoyable because it is
based on a true story.