tek's rating:

Because of Winn-Dixie (PG)
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Caution: potential spoilers.

A good story, narrated by the main character, a likable 10-year-old girl named India Opal Buloni (AnnaSophia Robb), but you can just call her Opal. She and her father (Jeff Daniels), a preacher who in her narration she just calls "the preacher", just moved to the small town of Naomi, Florida. Opal is lonely because she moved away from all her friends and so far hasn't been able to make any new ones. And because her mother left when she was 3 years old, so she doesn't remember her much at all. And because her father is so withdrawn, because he's also melancholy about his wife having left, for which he blames himself.

But then one day, while Opal is shopping at the Winn-Dixie grocery store, a dog comes in and makes a great deal of trouble. To save him from being sent to the pound, she claims he's hers, and calls him Winn-Dixie. Her father doesn't want to let her keep the dog, at first, and also their landlord wants them to get rid of the dog. But Opal loves Winn-Dixie, who is her only friend, and her father comes to love him, too. As do other people, because Winn-Dixie helps Opal make more friends. There's Otis (Dave Matthews), who works in a pet shop where Opal gets a job. And a librarian named Miss Franny (Eva Marie Saint), and a nearly blind woman named Gloria Dump (Cicely Tyson), and a 5-year-old girl called Sweetie Pie (Elle Fanning), and a girl named Amanda, and a couple of boys called the Dewberry brothers (though Opal doesn't really like them for most of the movie). There's also a policeman in the movie who's rather mean, but you can't really hate him because he's just such a goofus (as is pretty much inevitable, considering he's played by Harland Williams). At the end of the movie, Opal throws a party at Gloria's house, and even the landlord is invited, and becomes more friendly. The policeman never did, though. Ah well.

So, I dunno what to say. I guess the movie is based on some book I never heard of. And um, there's some candy the librarian had, which isn't made anymore, called Litmus lozenges, which are sweet but also have sorrow as a secret ingredient. Pretty bizarre. They taste good, but make you sad, make you think of sad things... which becomes a bit of a metaphor for life. You can't really separate the good from the bad. I liked that bit. Anyway... everyone has their problems, in the movie, but Opal and Winn-Dixie help them all become happier, I guess, just as they help her. Welp, it's not a bad movie at all. And, yeah, I guess that's all I can think to say, right now....

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