Bridge to Terebithia: More Appreciation
In the 3 months since I wrote my original recommendation of Bridge to Terabithia, based on the novel by Katherine Paterson, it has gone from 1st-run theaters to Madison’s 2nd-run theater, Market Square, where I see by the paper it will continue for at least another week.
It continues drawing in enuf customers to justify its prolonged stay there based on zero advertising beyond word of mouth.
As the movie reviewer for WisCon (world’s leading feminist science-fiction convention, held every Memorial Day weekend in Madison) I make a concerted effort to see all the SF and fantasy films that hit town. Naturally, I’ve seen this year’s 3 biggest so far (all of which, coincidentally, are associated with the number 3): Spider-Man, Shrek, and Pirates. I enjoyed them all. Nonetheless, Terebithia remains my favorite film of 2007, in no small part because it is not a sequel, but an original film — a small movie, but one with heart, the very kind of picture I keep hoping Hollywood will make, because (I naively tell myself), there’s an audience for really good story-telling about ordinary life.
It stars nobody you’d heard of 5 years ago, when Josh Hutcherson and AnnaSophia Robb were literally children. I predict that, 5 years hence, you will have heard of them. I fervently hope that will be partly because you remember having seen them here first.
Occasionally I’ll change my mind about a movie after I’ve taken more time to think about it, and the immediacy of the experience has faded into the past. I still feel bad about my biggest mistake as a film critic, when I gave The Princess Bride only an 8 on my 9-point scale, which in retrospect was a remarkably stupid underestimate of one of the best movies of all time.
But time has not dimmed my appreciation for Bridge to Terebithia, which earned a 9 the day I saw it and still deserves it these several months later.
My goal is to keep a steady stream of customers flowing into the theater so that, at next year’s WisCon, after I’ve awarded Terebithia the Buzzy, I can tell the audience “… and you can still see it on the big screen; it’s playing at Market Square this weekend.”