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Because of Winn-Dixie
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Reviews & Ratings for
Because of Winn-Dixie More at IMDbPro »

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46 out of 53 people found the following review useful:

Great movie, was oriented for a slightly older viewer than expected.

10/10
Author: from United States
21 February 2005

With it's G rating, I figured this for mostly upbeat and easy for youngsters such as my 3rd grade daughter. However, the movie is much deeper than that, and while it has many feel good moments, it is more about tough times and imperfect lives than anything, but shines wonderfully.

My 3rd grade daughter loved it, but my 7th grade daughter, who we thought might be too old for it, loved it even more!

I would definitely recommend "Because of Winn-Dixie" to families looking for a movie to watch together and who want thought provoking questions for their children to ponder and ask about. Well done, not too sappy, plenty of realism to go along with the fantasy.

The dog wasn't cartoony at all, the smile was understated and natural. This movie is more about relationships and hope despite tough times than anything else.

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39 out of 45 people found the following review useful:

Worthwhile movie

9/10
Author: cadbo from United States
21 February 2005

First, I want to dispel any rumors about this being a "sappy" movie. This movie is an adaptation of a well-known children's book, and should be judged as such. For those of us that want more from our entertainment than shoveling base garbage, it provides a nice change. This movie is in the same type of movie as an "Anne of Green Gables" or other juvenile movie. It has no nudity, profanity, nor did we see anybody sleeping with anybody. A nice change.

What a wonderful movie. The story is very similar to Pollyanna (at least in the girls ability to involve herself in the community). It has a very positive message, and there is not one thing that I would feel bad taking any of my children to see. As a matter of fact, they will all see it by the week's end. I haven't read the book, but my 13 year-old daughter has and told me how good it is. I will have to read it now. It was an engaging tale, and technically was very well done. The acting was good (some very talented actors were involved) and there was some very good film work. The moving clouds with the scene changes were a nice touch and the music was very appropriate. I know there has been a lot of talk in the media about Dave Matthews in this film, and he was a nice addition. His acting was OK, but his music was definitely a welcome addition. His guitar playing in various spots was warm and fit like your favorite chair.

There were a number of good messages throughout the movie. Some were very overt (the discussion between Gloria and Opal about judging someone on an event without knowing the whole story), and some were a little more below the surface (time moving on, bringing new challenges, and keep living). In case you don't get them, they usually give you a clue in the dialogue somewhere. It sure gave me lots of topics I could use to teach with my children. The most important theme is the primary theme for the movie. The truly important thing in life is the relationships we have with others. Opal demonstrated by becoming part of the lives of those Winn Dixie led her to.

This is one movie that will go on my video shelf (when it's not in the DVD player).

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47 out of 61 people found the following review useful:

Review of "Winn-Dixie"

8/10
Author: royal_theatre from United States
13 February 2005

Based on the Newbery Award-winning children's book by Kate DiCamillo, Because of Winn-Dixie, brings some much-needed sincerity to this Spring's forthcoming line-up of family films. Winn-Dixie, which comes to theatres February 18, stars newcomer AnnaSophia Robb as 10-year-old India Opal Buloni, who finds herself struggling to make friends in her new home, the small town of Naomi, Florida. Jeff Daniels plays Opal's father, known throughout the story simply as Preacher. Opal and Preacher's relationship is strained due to the fact that Opal's mother abandoned them both seven years earlier. Their relationship is changed, however, when Opal is sent to the local Winn-Dixie store for some groceries and brings home a goofy, bumbling mutt with a knack for making friends and a unique ability to smile. She names the dog after the store in which she found him, and soon they are constant companions. With Winn-Dixie's help, Opal gets to know the eclectic community of Naomi and her exploits bring together some of Naomi's most unusual citizens. Though the premise may seem conventional, the movie possesses many qualities that are lacking in most family films. Director Wayne Wang, whose previous films include The Joy Luck Club and Anywhere But Here, avoids much of the whimsical elements that turn off older viewers, portraying some of the more far-fetched scenes through imaginative flashbacks that occur only in Opal's mind. Though Because of Winn-Dixie succumbs to many family film clichés including slapstick physical comedy and plenty of sappy moments, it is redeemed by moments of pure quirkiness and originality. The film is also unafraid of dealing with adult themes such as alcohol abuse.

The film's cast is supported by veteran talents like Cicely Tyson and Eva Marie Saint and counterbalanced by the fresh faces of the younger cast members. Songwriter Dave Matthews makes an impressive effort in his second film appearance as Otis, an introverted pet store clerk who plays guitar to soothe the animals. Though AnnaSophia Robb's inexperience sometimes shows itself in comparison to her co-stars, she imparts a sense of genuine naïvete and childlike curiosity to the role that would have been difficult to achieve with a more experienced child actress. Robb can next be seen playing Violet Beauregard in Tim Burton's upcoming adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Because of Winn-Dixie is a tale rich in values with themes of forgiveness, tolerance, and hope for the future. It is a classic story, told with imaginative eccentricity and style. Rather than taking the kids to see yet another Winnie the Pooh movie, do yourself a favor and take a chance on something original.

The Verdict: 3 ½ Stars

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68 out of 103 people found the following review useful:

A Three Year Old's First Movie

10/10
Author: (jimgrigsby1@comcast.net) from Indianapolis
19 February 2005

Today, I took my three year old to see her first movie. This, you must understand is a task, as you must always be careful about language and "mature" situations that so many people today see as normal.

I am not going to give a synopsis of the movie, as most of the other reviewers do. Go see the movie yourself. I will only say that both my daughter and myself were totally engrossed with this touching and well-played story. The characters were very enjoyable and I thought the actors did a fine job.

I noticed that everyone in the audience, children along with their parents had big smiles on their faces as we all got up to leave at the movie's end. I really enjoyed this movie, and so did my young daughter.

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27 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Great movie for the whole family

10/10
Author: Moriatus from Peaks Island, Maine
23 February 2005

No matter what others say, I think that Winn-Dixie is a great movie that every member of the family can watch and enjoy. It is funny without being too silly and dramatic without being too sappy, and has some very good morals. There are no sex/violence elements to worry about; they are practically nonexistent, and the movie was kept very true to the book. The actors are very excellent in their roles, especially newcomer Annasophia Robb. This is a deep movie,too, with a great handling of its thematic elements and a great amount of substance. This is not an average made-for-TV type movie, but an actual memorable film. My advice is, if you're looking for a great family film, to see Because of Winn-Dixie.

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25 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Heartwarming Fun

10/10
Author: fred31998
19 February 2005

This movie was wonderful. The movie is about a young girl who finds a dog when she visits Winn Dixie to do grocery shopping for her father, who is the pastor in the small town in which she lives. This movie deals with love, forgiveness, and the importance of friendship. Together, Opal and Winn Dixie befriend many lonely residents of the small Florida town, and find that their lives are enriched, in addition to improving the lives of the lonely people in this town. This movie involves examples of forgiveness, and concern for others. This movie kind of reminds me of the movie My Dog Skip, starring Frankie Muniz. This is because both movies involve an animal helping a child become friends with many people in a small town.

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31 out of 43 people found the following review useful:

A dog story that will make you smile

7/10
Author: Douglas Young (the-movie-guy) from Memphis, Tennessee
17 February 2005

Opal (AnnaSophia Robb), is a 10-year-old girl who has just moved to a small town in Florida with her preacher father (Jeff Daniels). The move has caused Opal to lose all her friends, and now she must start all over again. Life has been a little tough for Opal, since her mother abandoned them when she was three. Opal's father asks her to pick up a few items for dinner at the Winn-Dixie supermarket. While in the store, a big dog is running loose in the store with clerks chasing after him. The store manager wants to call the dog pound, but Opal says that the dog is hers, and his name is Winn-Dixie. Opal take the dog home, and must convince her father to keep the dog. He agrees to keep the dog temporarily, until a new owner can be found. They go around town putting up posters of the dog, and later in the day Opal goes around and takes the posters down, because she secretly wants to keep the dog. Opal discovers that Winn-Dixie is able to make friends with everyone he meets, and now Opal has some new friends, because of Winn-Dixie. This is a good heartfelt story of the bond between a little girl and her dog. The story shows that a dog can bring happiness to a lonely girl and open up hearts of the people in town. I don't know how they did it, but the dog can actually smile. You can take your children to see this touching story. (20th Century Fox, Run time 1:46, Rated PG) (7/10)

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28 out of 38 people found the following review useful:

Great family movie

8/10
Author: Becky871 from United States
19 February 2005

This movie starts a little slow, I only went to see it because Dave Matthews is in it...it starts slow yes, but it has it's moments, good moments, funny moments. I think there are a lot of lessons in this movie and that makes it a great movie to go see with the kids...only one or two cuss words, not bad ones either!! I think if nothing else, the kids will enjoy the dog in this movie. I enjoyed seeing the dog because his actions reminded me of my own puppy. I can't wait to see other Annasohpia Robb movies.. she's a good little actress and adorable, very adorable...Dave was good too (I also liked him in "Where the Red FernGrows"). I've always enjoyed Jeff Daniels in movies and he didn't let me down in this one either.

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23 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

very heartfelt with surprising substance

8/10
Author: Mark Nielsen (gopakrz) from Portland OR
18 February 2005

This movie was a pleasant surprise in it's overall acting and charm, with a wonderfully directed cast. Winn-Dixie was a fun movie and the dog was really not the star of this one. While the dog had charm, it was little India Opal who stole the show. With Dave Matthews and Cicely Tyson playing wonderful roles, the characters in this film steal your heart. Opal charms the old folks of this town who seem to have lost their joy. Once the candy factory was shut down the citizens hearts left with it. It is Opal who brings the citizens back together and opens up a closed community by throwing a party for the people in the town.

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13 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

A girl and her dog

7/10
Author: jotix100 from New York
11 April 2006

Opal, the daughter of a preacher, is a girl with a mind of her own. When she meets Winn-Dixie, she has found a pal. Her father is a man that is in pain. He is trying to reconcile himself to his present circumstances. Arriving at the small southern town, he must do good work in order to attract a faithful congregation. He doesn't have much to fear, just leave it Opal to get everyone together in a place where people have grown apart.

The great book by Kate DiCamillo, is an excellent book for young adults. Joan Singleton adapted it for the screen and Wayne Wang directed a nice cast that produced a movie that, while some would think it's too sugary for their taste, it captured perfectly the essence of a small southern town.

The sweet AnnaSophia Robb plays the leading role. This young actress is a natural, or so it seems. Jeff Daniels, one of our best actors is seen as the preacher who can't forget his wife and who has to come to terms with himself. Cicely Tyson and Eva Maria Saint are perfect as two of the town's oldest citizens that are won over by Opal's goodness. Elle Fanning is seen as Sweetie Pie, a lovely girl. B. J. Hopper and Dave Mathews also contributed to the film.

This film was clearly targeted for young audiences. It has the right ingredients that prove to be a magical combination for family movies, a girl and a cute dog, a sure formula for appealing to audiences. Wayne Wang, an unlikely choice for director, brings all these elements together for a film that will not disappoint.

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