Cameron Crowe has returned this year with a vengeance, with three pictures in the form of two music documentaries — the Elton John centered “The Union” and “Pearl Jam Twenty” — and in just a few short weeks, “We Bought A Zoo.” And the material is a bit different than what we’ve seen from the diretor so far. Based on the best-selling memoir by Benjamin Mee, and penned by “The Devil Wears Prada” writer Aline Brosh McKenna (and fine tuned by Crowe to fit his sensibilties), the story centers on a widowed father (Matt Damon), who keeps a promise to his dead wife and buys a ramshackle home that also happens to adjoin an animal sanctuary. From here he strikes up a relationship with a zookeeper, played by Scarlett Johansson, as the family heals its wounds.
The movie had a sneak preview over the Thanksgiving weekend and confirmed our suspicions that this was Crowe swinging big for the mainstream. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. As we noted in our review, “While broadly drawn in story and fairly predictable, even banal at times, where the film counts and scores major emotional points is in the details that are unmistakably Crowe’s…Sure, there’s a little sunshine around every dark corner is about as cliché as you can get, but Crowe makes that familiar mood feel awfully human, meaningful and occasionally even momentous.” So in short, this one will tug at your heartstrings, but it will earn those tears.
These two clips from the film give a good indication of its tone and are a nice tease before the movie lands on December 23rd. Check ’em out below. [via The Uncool]