Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Big Miracle (2012) [PG] ****

It’s October, 1988 and oil leases for drilling rights in Bristol Bay, Alaska are being auctioned off, despite the protest of Greenpeace activist Rachel Kramer (Drew Barrymore). And, just outside Barrow, Alaska on the Arctic Ocean, hunters from the Inupiat tribe have found a family of three California gray whales. They are five miles from open water, trapped behind a pressure ridge of ice that extends downward from the ocean surface. Their only breathing hole is rapidly closing as the temperature drops, and if they cannot surface to breathe they will drown.

Anchorage-based news reporter Adam Carlson (John Krasinski) hears the story from his young Inupiat friend Nathan (Ahmaogak Sweeney) and his grandfather, tribal elder Malik (John Pingayak). When he reports it, Rachel, who is also his former girlfriend, joins with him to rally the community, and eventually the nation - and the Soviet Union - to save the whales. 

Based on the true story that briefly captured headlines in 1988, Big Miracle is a bit of a miracle itself. It’s a family-friendly film that people of all ages can enjoy. The film doesn’t talk down to its audience, and even bears a passing resemblance to real events, despite being a Hollywood production. John Krasinski and Drew Barrymore are likeable in their roles and even have a bit of romantic chemistry. The excellent supporting cast includes: Ted Danson as the Alaska Northern Oil CEO who is determined to use the situation for its PR value; Dermot Mulroney as Colonel Scott Boyer, an Alaska National Guard helicopter pilot; Kristen Bell as Jill Jerard, a network news reporter from Los Angeles; and Vinessa Shaw as Kelly Meyers, a White House staffer. If you enjoyed similar recent save-the-animals films like Dolphin Tale and We Bought a Zoo, then you won’t want to miss Big Miracle

Labels: drama, family, romance
Internet Movie Database
Metacritic 61/100
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=62, viewers=72)
Blu-ray
Anchorage Daily News: Big Miracle – The Real Story
Wikipedia: Barrow, Alaska


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