Ever since I first heard about Jonsi of Sigur Ros and Cameron Crowe collaborating for this movie, I’ve been antsy to watch We Bought a Zoo that’s based on a true story. I knew it was going to be like watching Vanilla Sky and Almost Famous with their amazing scoring and song line-up, but only this time, animals share the billing. 🙂
I wanted to watch this by myself in the cinemas as a way of paying respect to Jonsi and Crowe. Thing is, I was invited by a friend and her group of friends to see the film. At the end of it all, it was a night of laughter and banter. And of course, of newly stored memories.
The movie is about a family trying to survive the death of the mother. Writer Benjamin Mee, portrayed by Matt Damon, seeks to buy a new house as a fresh start for him, for his eldest son and his youngest daughter. This is because every where he goes in his village, he is reminded of his beautiful wife. The minute Ben and his daughter sees a rundown country house, they fall in love with it. One complication: It’s a zoo.
Crowe is an expert in dialogues, and the songs by Jonsi weave in and out of scenes like magical silver strings. Every time a Jonsi track ribbons in, I would start getting goose bumps!
This movie is a keeper for me primarily because of the soundtrack and then due to the animals, and lastly, due to the story line. Oh, Elle Fanning is here at her adorable brilliance and Scarlett Johansson, too. ❤ Plus Thomas Haden whom I adore after watching him portray a slacker yet sweet uncle in Smart People.
The youngest daughter is a little angel while the animals are at their best selves.
I wish zoos were like this — a glen, a safe haven for them. I hate zoos that practice “inhumane” ways of tending to animals — cages that are tiny, unsanitary practices, using animals as forms of entertainment, and the obvious intention to make money than to uphold animal welfare. This is the reason why I have long boycotted zoos and Manila Ocean Park.
There’s this scene where Elle’s character asks Scarlett’s character who or what she would choose if given the choice between people and animal. Turning into a rom-com at the tail end of the story, the movie shows Scarlett’s and Elle’s characters choosing people.
When I heard that question, I muttered to myself, “animals”. My seatmate heard me. She smiled at me and touched my arm.