This is another superb indie film. Indie productions do not fill the megaplex, but can be a breath of fresh air. I just saw this one for the second time in several years. I didn't intend to watch it all the way through; I just started it to remind myself of the interesting, quirky characters. And I ended up watching it all the way through again. Great performances by some very fine actors. I recommend it highly. In fact, I challenge you to watch a film that isn't showing at the megaplex. It's an instant viewing choice right now on Netflix.
This is a beautifully photographed, deliberately paced film which explores the intricate web of family relationships when illness strikes. The characters speak French and on Netflix the film is shown with English sub titles.
I enjoyed this film far more than most reviewers. Admittedly, the paths which tell the story are well worn, but in the hands of Rob Reiner, they are not tired. It's not often that a film exists which has such narrative predictability, but is carried out with such fine writing. As I began to fill in the blanks of what a given character was going to say, I was usually pleasantly surprised that the dialogue was devoid of premeditated cliches. Morgan Freeman and Virginia Madsen are fine actors and carry out their honest to goodness adult characters with great skill. I like the pace of this film; it's deliberate and trusts its viewers enough to allow them long breaths between edits. While the three kid actors were okay, the middle of the three had intermittent moments of excellence. I've watched enough duds lately that I'm going to be even more generous on The Magic of Bell isle than I might otherwise be, four stars out of five.