Fly Away Home

* * 1/2*

Fly Away Home is an enjoyable inspirational film, even if it doesn't pack much meat. Amy Alden (Anna Paquin) is a girl whose mother dies in a car accident. She reluctantly moves to Canada to be with her reclusive artist father, Thomas (Jeff Daniels). When local construction disrupts a goose nest, Amy recovers sixteen abandoned goose eggs. She hatches the eggs, and keeps the geese as pets. However, trouble emerges when the geese get the urge to migrate. Amy and her father hatch a plan to lead the birds south for the winter with ultralight airplanes. Fly Away Home is enjoyable to watch, with many beautiful shots of the countryside, and plenty of nice goose shots. However, as with many nature-based films, a large portion of camera time is devoted to watching the flock waddle this way and that. Sure, they're cute, but such wasted time seems a bit like too much padding in this light-as-a-feather film. Anna Paquin gives yet another good performance as the girl recovering from tragedy and achieving a triumph. Jeff Daniels as her father and Dana Delany as Thomas' significant other give warming performances, but there really isn't much to either of their characters. Although at times a bit heavy-handed in its pro-environment message, Carroll Ballard's direction manages to capture the beauty of nature, and also inspire with the lengths the Alden family goes to in order to save their flock of geese. Fly Away Home is a feel-good film that does manage to make you feel good, if not much else.

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