Saturday 23 September 2017

Review: Dolphin Tale * * *

(G, general release)

Paul Whitington

A heartwarming and unashamedly sentimental family film, Dolphin Tale is loosely based on the true story of a bottlenose dolphin called Winter that lost its tail after being snagged in a crab trap off the Florida coast. Tailless dolphins being thin on the ground at central casting, Winter plays herself in the film, which revolves around her relationship with a young boy.

Sawyer Nelson (Nathan Gamble) has been raised by his mother Lorraine (Ashley Judd) and has never quite gotten over his father's departure five years before. He's listless and lonely, but when he and a fisherman find Winter lying badly injured on a public beach, Nathan finds a new focus.

She's taken to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, where Nathan becomes involved in the campaign to save Winter's life. Winter's story has been considerably embellished on the human front, and a decent cast includes Harry Connick Jr, Morgan Freeman and Kris Kristofferson.

As I mentioned earlier, the film wears its heart on its sleeve, but that doesn't make it any less affecting. And if you remain unmoved by the story of a tailless dolphin that's nursed back to health by a fatherless boy, you should probably pay a visit to the prison psychologist.

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