Movie: We Bought A Zoo

we bought a zoo
Sneak Preview of We Bought A Zoo

As most people that know me, they know that Cameron Crowe is one my favorite directors. I’ve made no apologies for Jerry Maguire being one of my favorite movies ever. So it should be no surprise that when Cameron Crowe comes out with a new movie, I will go see it.

My first viewing of We Bought A Zoo was on a sneak preview weekend. I went with my daughter, who loves movies as much as I do.

The general plot of the movie is Benjamin Mee (Matt Damon) is a widowed father of two who is looking for some changes in his life. He leaves his job and buys a place outside the city. This new place happens to also come with a run down zoo. With the help of Kelly (Scarlett Johansson) who is the zookeeper left in charge, they spend endless hours and money revitalizing the zoo, along the way working through the kinks of daily life, relationship ups and downs and a bit of organized drama.

The film is a breath of fresh air in this day of all things vampires and drunken fall-down comedies. Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson are well cast and they work very well on the screen together. This is a very different role for Scarlett, who normally plays the deceiving or underlying temptress. She is down to earth and very well received in this film.

For Matt Damon, he is versatile as ever and fits naturally into this role. The ability of Cameron Crowe to take a real life story and fit it into his brilliant way of displaying it on the big screen is nothing short of amazing. Yes, I am gushing, but I think he’s hit this one out of park here.

A special mention to Thomas Haden Church for bringing his comedic prowess to this film. His brother character is one that melds well into the various stages of the film. Patrick Fugit, who played the on-screen version of Cameron Crown in Almost Famous eleven years ago, has a role as one the zoo staff.

We Bought A Zoo

The adorable Maggie Elizabeth Jones plays Rosie, the youngest of the two Mee children and comes alive in all of the various scenes of the movie. And Elle Fanning, who is a teen at heart, find her smile into most of her screen time.

I highly recommend going to see this film in the theater. If you miss it there, it’s still worth a viewing on the smaller screen once it drops on home video.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

The only thing that kept this movie from getting 5 stars was… well, I can’t think of anything that concrete even after two viewings.

And speaking of my second viewing, the movie held up just as well as the first time. Nothing new discovered, nothing new to criticize. Just another chance to experience this top-notch film.

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