The Magic of Belle Isle

2012

The Magic of Belle Isle (2012)

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Movie Info

Reuniting with director Rob Reiner from the hit film, The Bucket List, Freeman plays Monte Wildhorn, a famous Western novelist whose struggle with alcoholism has sapped his passion for writing. He takes a lakeside cabin for the summer in picturesque Belle Isle, and befriends the family next door-an attractive single mom (Madsen) and her young daughters-who help him find inspiration again. -- (C) Magnolia

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Cast

Morgan Freeman
as Monte Wildhorn
Virginia Madsen
as Charlotte O'Neil
Madeleine Carroll
as Willow O'Neil
Emma Fuhrmann
as Finnegan O'Neil
Fred Willard
as Al Kaiser
Nicolette Pierini
as Flora O'Neil
C.J. Wilson
as Fire Captain
Ash Christian
as Carl Loop
Jessica Hecht
as Karen Loop
Christopher McCann
as Bookstore Owner
Kevin Pollak
as Joe Viola
Boyd Holbrook
as Luke Ford
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Critic Reviews for The Magic of Belle Isle

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (15)

There's a comforting inevitability to The Magic of Belle Isle, as an alcoholic author spends a soothing, rejuvenating summer in a sleepy lakeside village.

Nov 1, 2012 | Rating: B | Full Review…

If this were real life and not a movie, Mr. Wildhorn would be written off as a crank and ostracized within a week.

Jul 12, 2012 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

It's earnest, predictable and disposable.

Jul 12, 2012 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

You can quarrel with the smiley-face outcome of every ordeal, but the tenderness and optimism are so powerful and ingratiating that only a viewer with the darkest sensibility will go away untouched.

Jul 12, 2012 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
Observer
Top Critic

Shamelessly schmaltzy and predictable from first moment to last, Rob Reiner's The Magic of Belle Isle nonetheless manages to conjure a certain spell.

Jul 9, 2012 | Full Review…

Madsen, a strong actress who might have matched Freeman, is portrayed in varying shades of blandness. Even Freeman, good as his is, is held back here.

Jul 6, 2012 | Rating: C | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Magic of Belle Isle

½

This is a hidden gem from director Rob Reiner, reconnecting him with Morgan Freeman from The Bucket List. If you enjoyed that film, you'll probably like this one as well. This concerns a journey through life's turmoil, although without the presence of Nicholson-much less acerbic. Belle Isle is a beautiful, tender story about characters you really care about. Like Bucket List, this movie is about second chances in life, making the best of what time you have left. I appreciated that it had a theme for every stage of life, although it centered on Monte Wildhorn (Freeman). The intersection of his life with the newly-divorced mother and children of varying ages next door was the perfect complement and foil for Wildhorn. The film does venture into schmaltzy, Hallmark territory, but just go with it. Allowing yourself simply to be inspired and entertained won't hurt. One criticism: The sort-of romantic angle between Monte Wildhorn and Charlotte O'Neil (Virginia Madsen) seemed forced, not plausible or realistic to me. Madsen was quoted as saying that her on-screen relationship with Freeman (albeit brief) was the first on-screen romance in his long, storied career. Kudos to Reiner, then for thinking outside the box.

Clintus Maximus
Clintus Maximus

Super Reviewer

Sweet, charming movie Rob Reiner style. Many chuckle moments that I got a kick out of, especially with the character Carl. Morgan Freeman is wonderful, as usual...

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

½

Comic drama that can best be described as nice, Morgan Freeman and Virginia Madsen make it seem better than it is.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Rob Reiner is a good at taking adult themes, and turning them into good family orientated films. "Stand By Me" is my favorite Reiner movie, as I grew up watching that with my mom. Here, Morgan Freeman plays Monte, a alcoholic, paralyzed writer, who has lost the will to to write. Monte movies to Belle Isle and befriends a single mom(Virginia Madsen) and her three young daughters, whom help him find his inspiration again. It's a good, sweet natured, borderline sappy PG movie. The performances are all good, especially Freeman. It's good to see him in an actual leading role again instead of a supporting player or voice over. The rest of the cast is very good, as all three daughters do a terrific job, as does the usually great Madsen. It may be too boring for kids, and honestly it does drag a little during the middle, but it's still very entertaining and a good watch. Good watch.

Everett Johnson
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer

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