Fly Away Home (1996) Poster

(1996)

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Beautiful Cinematography
sctmplr-129 August 2004
I got sucked into a movie on the satellite dish the other day, 'Fly Away Home.' It's a story about a young motherless girl (Amy) who rescues some wild goose eggs and basically becomes their mother. The story evolves as the goslings grow into young adult birds ready to fly south. Since they never had parents the geese haven't learned to fly. The girl's dad thinks he can get them to fly by following him in his ultra-light. But they will only follow Amy. So dad teaches her to fly. Soon the geese are flying. Next, dad and Amy hatch a plot to fly south and have the geese follow them. We know this actually happened when 2 scientists did something similar.

One of the reasons I was sucked into this wonderful family movie was the photography. It is National Geographic quality. In fact I was so impressed with the cinematography that I had to look up who did it: Caleb Deschanel. The setting, a farm in Southern Ontario, allowed him to become intimate with the geese and the natural setting. Another reason I couldn't stop watching the movie was the stunning performance by Anna Paquin, the 16-year old girl who played Amy. I remembered her from the movie, 'Piano.' She played Flora, the daughter of Holly Hunter. I'm sure they picked Paquin to do that part because of her speaking ability. Holly Hunter played the part of Ada, a woman who couldn't talk. She communicated with sign language through her daughter. Paquin was so good in her part that she won the Oscar, quite a feat for an 11-year old.

The story, 'Fly Away Home' is touching because she's not the kind of Hollywood-trained child actor you find in most movies. A surprising thing happened as I watched Amy and her geese. I could sense a startling serenity from her as the bond had developed between them. I wondered how she could manage that. She was only a 16-year old actress then but she conveyed a mothering instinct that goes back to the ageless beginnings of life on this planet. When the goslings were following her around, much of the photography was from ground level. Later when they were all flying, the photography was right there in the flying formation. You were seeing the birds, in flight, right next to you. The beauty of motion was unbelievable. I thought, 'How could anyone shoot these creatures?' There is beauty in seeing them fly. There is beauty in seeing them in their habitat. But the overwhelming beauty is in their living. They deserved that life. It made me think of this sad planet and the billions of creatures that have died because of the human race. Here was a story that went against the slaughter. When Amy and her birds arrived at their destination in Chesapeake Bay I had misty eyes.

So I'm a soft touch.
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9/10
If you don't like family films, watch this instead
beanstalk1 May 2001
People always seem to quote this movie as perfect family fair. I hate your typical Hollywood-produced family movie with ingratiatingly saccharine kids and perfect parents-with-a-message. Despite its plucked from the headlines (mostly) true story roots and workmanlike, rather than inspired scripting, this movie manages to transcend that due to a number of factors.

Beautiful cinematography of both the geese and southern Ontario. Decent supporting performances. But mostly due to the perfectly cast leads, Jeff Daniels and Anna Paquin, as the estranged father and daughter.

Everyone says Daniels is underrated, so I guess that means he isn't. He manages to make the father eccentric without ever falling into caricature.

Paquin creates a believable teen character, never straying from truth in favour of evoking our sympathy by being cute. Her naturalistic style of acting sometimes seems out of place with other more studied actors (e.g. the almost unwatchable Hurlyburly) but here she and Daniels and the minimal dialogue of the script work so well. Its about time someone gave her another decent lead role.

Finally, the opening credits sequence is a masterclass in storytelling economy, giving us the plot background without words, and setting up the whole downbeat tone of the movie with Mary Chapin Carpenter's haunting version of 10,000 Miles.
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7/10
An incredibly sweet story
spirit1112 September 2000
WARNING: This review may reveal portions of the movie plot.

If you want to just lose yourself in a story that is sweet and uplifting, then this is the movie for you. I was surprised at how efficiently this movie drew me in, but then again I'm a big softie at heart. I started watching this movie late one night and didn't want to stop -- so I didn't!

The movie concerns a young girl who goes to live with her father after her mother is killed in a car accident. Dad and Mom divorced many years before and live on opposite sides of the world -- Canada and New Zealand -- so she doesn't know Dad very well.

Jeff Bridges plays the father in this film and does it incredibly well. He's an artist who is just a little bit quirky, a big believer in following your dreams, and desperately trying to capture the love for his daughter that he regrets having lost in the divorce years before. Anna Paquin as his 13-year old daughter is wonderful -- how do young kids act so well??? -- as she learns to grieve for her mother, find a new life in a new country, and love and trust a father whom she has barely known most of her life.

The supporting cast shines as well, in most cases. Most notably is Terry Kinney as Daniels brother and the young girls uncle. He's the kind of uncle everyone wants to have around, although when he falls asleep while babysitting and Paquin's character disappears, he doesn't seem very responsible. He becomes a bit of a scene stealer though as the movie progresses. He has one of the best lines in the film when he tries to convince a U.S. border-patrol agent that he needs dozens of gallons of gas to go camping for his portable generator to run his blender and TV. "Nothing like camping in the middle of no where with your VCR, a good movie, and a pina colada."

Dana Delany (of TV's "China Beach" fame) plays Daniels sometimes live-in girlfriend and seems to be the only actor who doesn't really stretch in this part. I don't believe this is Delany's fault, however. This story is primarily about the father-daughter relationship, and Delany's part suffers as a result. Most scenes are supportive and don't really give her a chance to shine.

The story is well written with a combination of genuine emotion, without becoming overly sappy. Yes, the film is sweet, but not sickeningly so. When the credits began to roll at the end of this movie, the first thing I thought of way, "How could this have gotten a PG rating?" I *literally* heard one four-letter word in the entire film, and that is said under the breath so that I wasn't even sure I heard it. There is one reference to sex outside marriage, and a car accident at the beginning of the film. That's it. Parents, you can show this to young children without any real concern. My suggestion: Watch the first 5 minutes of the film and if you decide your children can handle the opening sequence of a car crash, then there probably is nothing else in the film that should be a problem (in my opinion!)
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8/10
Consistently drives grown men (& women) to tears
thenewcrossleys27 August 2000
A family film .. yes but certainly one that can be watched and watched again without the need for a licensing child. Jeff Daniels is superb as an eccentric father who takes on board his daughter after his estranged wife's death in a car accident. A strong supporting cast (including geese) are driven to support Amy's desire to assist a bunch of orphaned geese to maintain a wild existence. This involves teaching the geese to fly and leading them South by air. This journey for both the daughter coping with grief after the loss of her mother, the father in discovering his daughter once more and the geese in finding a new home for the Winter adds up to .. well tears and more tears.

Before you write this film off as "fantasy" take the time to watch the BBC's Life of Birds final part. There you meet a remarkable farmer from the US who is using a microlite to aid a few of the last remaining Whooping Cranes to re-establish migratory patterns.

In the UK the site of skeins of wild geese migrating in Winter form their Summer homes in Iceland and the Arctic circle is one of the last great wildlife dramas left on this small island. The views in Fly away Home of Amy's geese as they move in to join the hundreds of wild geese powering South capture this majesty. This story of a group of people who care about and assist this natural pattern may help reinforce some of the awe that we should all feel when confronted with these epic and annual journeys.
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Beautifully Delicate
purvesgrundy30 March 2000
Following Toy Story comes Fly Away Home, another string to the increasingly large bow of children's films that adults can also enjoy. The story follows Amy, a 13-year-old New Zealand girl who is forced to live with her estranged father in Canada following a car crash that kills her mother. Amy becomes increasingly withdrawn and upset until she finds a collection of similarly orphaned goslings that she takes care of, nurturing them until they are ready to migrate to the southern United States.

The film could easily have fallen into the sappy ‘family film' category. However, it never lets itself, choosing to concentrate more on characters than moments. Amy's character, played with breathtaking maturity by Anna Paquin, is better developed and more complex than characters in most films aimed at adults. The supporting cast also flesh out their strong characters to make the whole film much more believable.

The cinematography is beautiful, the dusky-autumnal scenes are captured in an explosion of reds and yellows and oranges that seem to wash over you time and time again, and the final flight sequence is a wonderful closing to an incredibly refreshing film.
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10/10
If you like William Bouguereau, you'll love this movie
oldjimh12 January 2005
I don't have much in the way of feelings so usually stick to science.

An engineer by trade I used to subscribe to a "tecchie" aviation magazine. One issue had this incredible story by some kindly if eccentric Canadian folks who had raised a gaggle of baby geese, and you know the rest. Details of aviation aside, the story warmed my heart. Most Unusual.

A year or so later I took my kids to see "Flyaway Home" expecting a mildly entertaining nature documentary, like Disney's old "Prairie Dog Town" with an aviation twist.

What I saw was a superbly crafted and deeply touching little masterpiece. I was in tears by the end.

Metaphors of kindness aside, this film will touch any heart however hardened or scarred .

And the kids liked it too.
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9/10
Extraordinarily beautiful!
fertilecelluloid6 January 2005
This is poetic, emotional, breathtaking film-making blessed with a truly inspiring Mark Isham score. The theme song, "10,000 Miles", is achingly beautiful and is first used with intuitive irony over the film's opening credit sequence.

Anna Paquin is the little girl who, with her father, Jeff Daniels, "imprints" with a flock of young geese and leads them, via homemade aircraft, to a new home thousands of miles away.

The flight sequences, which combine real flying with computer-assisted imagery over rivers, pastures and cityscapes, are flawless. They capture the awe and staggering thrill of flight without ever resorting to unnecessary, contrived stuntwork.

Daniels, not a regular face on the silver screen these days, is natural and likable as Paquin's eccentric father while Paquin once again demonstrates what a brilliant talent she is.

The narrative builds to an exciting conclusion as the film's environmental theme is amplified.

Director Ballard, who also made the striking BLACK STALLION and the stark NEVER CRY WOLF, brings acute visual economy to every scene and never allows the film's underlying theme to become preachy.

Caleb Deschanel, the film's cinematographer, gives us flawless images that frequently drop the jaw.

A major achievement in a minor key.
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10/10
A great movie
budandlou2585 June 2004
I saw this movie in theaters with my dad. When we left he said, "It makes you want to go buy a little airplane, doesn't it?" It did. I loved this movie, the music especially. I was saddened to find that they didn't release a soundtrack.

While a little folksy, it is nevertheless a funny and heartwarming story about a girl's relationship with her father in a home she is struggling to remember. Amy is trying to cope with her mother's death, then has to move halfway across the world and get used to new family members, her father's workaholic bachelor life, and her father's girlfriend. Just as she is ready to give up, she becomes the mother to fifteen abandoned Canadian geese. Her father and friends put together an elaborate scheme to teach the geese to fly and chaos ensues as Amy and her father lead their flock south for the winter. A touching story of life and love. I recommend it highly.
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A Story of Returning to Joy
dcombs1008 April 2002
The greatest challenge any of us will ever face is how to regain the ability to reach for joy after the loss of a loved one. Especially, when that loss is abrupt and occurs at an age before one has developed the capacities to manage it. That is the over-arching and powerful theme that "Fly Away Home" manages to evoke so beautifully.

It's difficult to pin-point which of the masterfully developed elements of filmmaking that make this movie such a joy to watch again and again. But, surely, it all comes down to the great story-telling ability of Mr. Carol Ballard. Everything is harnessed to tell the story (a basic element of drama surprisingly ignored these days in Hollywood) of a girl who loses her mother at a critical point in her life, and has to find a way to the rest of her life, while reeling from the trauma and uncertain of how to survive her grief.

The discovery of an abandoned nest of Canadian geese eggs is the simple overlaying metaphor that takes us on her journey. The great difference between this movie and other movies of its type is that Mr. Ballard resists the temptation to explicate the transcendent story of Amy's emotional triumph over her loss and grief. Simply put, the story is about the geese, but it's really about Amy's recovery and reconnection with her future, with her life, though there isn't one line of dialogue explaining that to the viewer. It seeps out of the story through the masterful, chekovian performances of Anna Paquin as Amy and Jeff Daniels as her father. This theme is supported with such unerring consistency in the music (Mark Isham at his most sublime), the cinematography, editing, lighting, art direction and casting. All of the casting is just perfect. Especially in the sense that none of the actors ever seem to be pulling anything out of their "bag of tricks" or doing some bit you've seen them do before. The quality of the work is such that much of the dialogue in the movie seems spontaneous and almost ad libbed. The final sequence is a thing of sublime, subtly powerful beauty that is rarely seen in movies these days. A powerful, wordless climax. Something that happens so effortlessly, because the story that comes before has been told so completely and with such skill. I cry every time I watch it.

Thank you, Carol Ballard, for this beautiful gift of compassion and belief.

Note: Did Anna Paquin actually move from little girl to adolescent in the course of making this movie, or is it more of the master magicianry of Carol Ballard and his team?
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7/10
Easygoing in a good way...
Fredrik Olsson23 August 2003
This movie has something thats missing in a lot of other movies. It has a soul, and a belief in good.

Its believable, beautiful and smooth. Its cast shows that they´re as good as any renowned "great" actor of the day, and the story is quite light...yet its something strangely moving about it.

A daughter that looses her mother, which leads her to take care of doomed geese. And even though the cute-scale is quite high, the movie still holds you cause of its fine acting and soulful goodness.

This is a great movie for all ages. Its nice shooted, really nice telled, and good acted.

Its a given choice for the whole family. 9/10!

Ps. The soundtrack is also very nice. Suttle, clean and memorable.
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10/10
Love it
big_P_039 December 2006
I love this movie it's a classic.You will love it. It's one of those heart toucher's.Its a great story and you can tell that there's a lot of meaning to it.I guarantee you'll love it!!It is based on a true story,its about a girl who finds 16 goose eggs and begins raising the geese after the eggs hatch.It's a sad and happy story and also a must see motion picture.

I have seen this movie at least 50 times and i am willing to watch it another million times!! I personally recommend that you see this movie. If you don't see it i can guarantee you will regret it. So go rent Fly Away Home a great 1996 film for you and your family. Enjoy watching this great film,i know I did!!
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9/10
A lovely film
Neil Welch5 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I had kind of half meant to watch this movie for ages, and finally did so yesterday.

I wish I hadn't waited so long! There are a number of things which make this movie well worth watching.

One, it looks great - some fabulous scenery filmed during the always photogenic autumn.

Two, that great look includes much scarcely believable aerial photography featuring a flock of geese following a microlight aircraft.

Three, at the heart of the movie is a fragile relationship between a father and daughter who scarcely know each other, beautifully portrayed by Jeff Daniels and Anna Paquin.

The film is good to look at, and always interesting and emotionally engaging.

A small masterpiece.
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9/10
One of the best family movies, ever.
zappalover8 October 2005
A great story of recovery from the profound loss of a loved one, using a metaphor in nature of teaching geese how to fly. It skillfully blends tragedy with light touches of humor and fully holds the attention of both children over the age of 10 and adults. The music by Mark Isham is especially noteworthy, particularly his blending of Mary Chapin Carpenters's "10,000 Miles" at the beginning and end. Actor Jeff Daniels brings believability to a tricky role as an estranged father adjusting to the reunion with his 13 year-old daughter. Anna Paquin is excellent in a different kind of coming of age role where she adopts an orphaned flock of geese, and in the process learns about the love of her dad. Beautifully photographed and well edited, I highly recommend it.
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10/10
Believe the praise you see for this movie, it is one for the ages, and a truly extraordinary film
TheLittleSongbird4 October 2009
I never expected Fly Away Home to be so good, it is a truly extraordinary, poignant and completely lovable family film. Who cares if it starts off slowly? There is so much to redeem this movie, that the pros completely outweigh the minor con.

Fly Away is exquisitely filmed, with breathtaking settings and stunning cinematography. I do think the the film's overall look is its main merit, as well as the truly lovely music score. The script is beautiful, more poignant above all else. And I almost forgot to mention the heartwarming story.

I thought also the performances were outstanding. Jeff Daniels is a revelation as the father, in one of his best performances, and Anna Paquin is just superb in the title role. Of course the scene stealers are the adorable baby geese, but Paquin's chemistry with them, so motherly she was, reduced me to tears on several occasions.

This movie shouldn't be dismissed as an overly sentimental, bittersweet bit of eye candy. It is to me and my entire family, a truly beautiful, well meaning and poignant film for the entire family to treasure for a very long time. I am 17, and I really can't think of anything else to add other than a 10/10. (one of the easiest perfect scores I have given recently) Bethany Cox
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A Personal and Sentimental Tale
Errington_923 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Fly Away Home is a family oriented, emotionally charged drama in which a young girl's mental recovery from her Mother's death is achieved by a monumental feat.

Thrust into her Father Tom's world of inventions and experiments, Amy is lost and uncomfortable in this new environment along with still being vulnerable from her Mother's death, shown in her anxious reactions watching Tom try out his latest invention. Yet it is an aspect of Tom's life that Amy soon finds herself in after discovering Geese eggs, once they hatch Amy is lead down a memorable path of courage and bonding. As Amy begins to raise the Geese as her own Fly Away Home becomes an incredibility touching story where it is hard not to want Amy achieve the goal of getting the Geese to migrate south.

Fly Away Home succeeds on an emotional scale in placing the viewer into the predicament Amy faces and the love she feels for the Geese. The cinematography is an additional factor to the heart - tugging vibe, watching the Geese eggs hatch and crawl out of their shells with crystal clear precision as if we are witnessing the birth in person is extraordinary to see and sentimental to feel as they are just as vulnerable as Amy. This sense of vulnerability makes the aerial shots of Amy and Tom leading the Geese to their rightful place in nature later on all the more powerful. It coincides with the soundtrack in relation to Fly Away Home's poignancy, with the use of the song '10, 000 Miles' towards the end of the climatic scene which had been the show piece of the opening credits depicting the death of Amy's Mother increases the atmosphere to the status of a tear jerker, bringing home how much Amy has achieved.

However there are some clichés which slightly spoil the experience. Having corporate bosses as antagonists is nothing new and tense moments made to briefly unease the audience most notably when Air Traffic Control are about to send out a war plane on Amy, Tom and the Geese when they are seen as a UFO comes across respectively as platitude and ridiculous. But these are only minor flaws in a film whose good heartedness paves these criticisms over.

So if you enjoy story lines with a feel - good vibe and the old fashioned good triumphing over evil, Fly Away Home should be one for you.
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8/10
A film students review
rperry-1719 July 2009
As a film student, I naturally started to fast forward through the opening titles to get to the film. Then I had to rewind.

The viewer gets kicked in the privates in the first minute of the titles. Then again two minutes later.

A lot of the film is shot in the golden hours just after sunrise and just before sunset, making for some great imagery.

The story is pretty adult for a family film. Familiar family issues are not candy-coated in the script.

As for being believable, it is based on a true story, and yes, the amazing fridge is from a real design by the inventor at the heart of the true story.

The final chapter contains simply superb flying shots worthy of National Geographic.

I don't think there was any time wasted on sentimental stuff, just enough to get the point stated, then immediately move on.

Worth seeking out the collectors addition for the extras that explain how close to reality the basic concept is - teaching geese to fly home.

Good film, well made, great acting, superb photography.

Why not a ten? The story was based too much on reality - however amazing. The photography was great, but not ground breaking.
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You quack me up
tieman6418 February 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This is a review of "Fly Away Home" and "Wind", two films by Carroll Ballard.

Loosely speaking, Ballard makes two types of films. Those in which humans tentatively interact with "wild" animals, and those in which man interacts with nature via technology inspired by the natural world. In the first category Ballard's made fare like "The Black Stallion" and "Duma", in the second he's made films like "Wind" and "Fly Away Home".

Arguable one of his best films, "Fly Away Home" is about a daughter and father who build an ultralight air-plane that mimics the behaviour of, and acts as a surrogate mother for, a flock of geese. Using the plane, the duo guide the birds to a sanctuary several hundred miles away. It's a touching picture, filled with beautiful scenery, gorgeous aerial footage, sensitive direction and some wonderfully understated acting by Jeff Daniels Anna Paquin.

Though his financiers force formulaic plots upon him, Ballard dislikes heavy-handed storytelling, and so tends to keep his characters quiet and muted. With his ethereal visuals, use of silence and love for wind/nature, "Fly Away Home" strongly conjures up the work of Malick and Miyazaki.

The film has flaws: some of its rear projection is intrusive, some of its conflicts are a bit clichéd, some of its villains are cartoonish, and aside from the opening and closing song, Ballard's musical score isn't strong enough for such a poetic picture. Still, these flaws are minor and don't intrude on the film's better qualities.

While "Fly Away Home" involves an inventor building an air-plane, "Wind" involves a group of mechanical engineers designing a boat. Sounds boring? Both films are more interested in mood and ambiance than they are plot. In "Wind", the design team relocate to a huge hanger at the centre of a vast desert, a world away from the oceans they hope to conquer. We watch as they sculpt away at their boat, Ballard salivating over sleek hulls, tall masts and mighty rudders. Muscles, skeletons, animals, rocks, wind and water are studied and observed, the boat a failure if its body doesn't bend to the will of the waves.

Both films deal with men and machines waltzing with nature; our ultralight air-plane is only believable to the geese if they perceive it to be their biological mother, and Ballard's boats fail if they don't slice cleanly through the winds and waves. To resist nature is to compromise the design.

Both films were also mildly influential in how they added to our camera vocabulary. "Fly Away Home" gave us some then new three-dimensional camera sweeps and "Wind" offered several cinematic baby steps as well, using specially designed camera mounts for both helicopters and boat hulls, masts etc.

"Fly Away Home" is the better of the two films - it's one of the best "family" films of the 1990s - whilst "Wind" is plagued by a bad script, though it does also offer excellent mood and ambiance. You sense that Ballard wants to avoid conventional Hollywood scripts as much as possible, but that they're necessary to provide some semblance of either structure or marketability.

"Fly Away Home" – 8.5/10

"Wind" – 8/10
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9/10
life affirming movie.go see
sbamp492 January 2004
heartwarming and life affirming.call me an old softy but this film brought a tear to the eyes of a self confessed cynic.I think due to the fact that it was shot in such a naturalistic style. the performances themselves were low key which i thought suited the film's tone making it akin to a documentary feel.Anna paquin ,fresh from "the piano" really made the role her own and imbued the film with a freshness that carried the viewer along.
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9/10
Wow.. I never thought it could be THAT good.
diovorez8 February 2000
Believe it or not, this is a great movie. I had some misconceptions about it before I actually watched it. It's not a chick flick, it's not a sob story, and there are none of those stupid scenes where the geese almost die or have to be given away. I am very happy that a movie finally dared to break those cliches, and come up with an interesting family movie that will actually be watched by the whole family.

I give it 10/10.
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10/10
Geese, gadgets, and wonderful acting
larryfeltonjohnson9 June 2008
My fiancé checked this movie out at the library. She'd seen it before and wanted me to see it. At the risk of seeming sexist I'm usually apprehensive at the sort of "chick flicks" she often chooses.

This movie, however, was a home run. There were many things about it I loved. The performance by Anna Paquin was fantastic, Jeff Daniels and the rest of the supporting cast did a solid job. The geese (and the cinematography which allowed them to do it) were very emotionally expressive. And the gadgetry (I'm a Rube Goldberg sort of inventor myself) was wonderful.

My best testimonial to this film, however, is that whether I choose a movie, or my fiancé does, I normally fall asleep on the couch watching it after the first hour or so. This one kept me interested to the end.
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My Home
tedg9 November 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers herein.

I study movies. Usually movies are so mechanical and clumsy that I cannot avoid watching myself and others watching it. But once in a while, a movie teases me into itself. You end up committing energy to drive the story.

Such films carry a special obligation to respect that commitment by taking it seriously and not feeding back any irony.

Ballard did this for me. Of course you never really know that it has happened until you are rummaging around the attic of your imagination and discover what it has left. In this case it happened for me after watching `Winged Migration.' That was an extraordinary experience, but seriously damaged by the insistence of the French filmmaker to tell stories.

Those stories were eagerly consumed by us viewers, but they ruined the whole project by removing it from its context. It was more animal circus-ish than acceptable. If you are going to insert a story, I thought, it needs to be the story of Mother Nature herself. Or some large slice of her.

That's what we have here. Except for a few tiresome mechanics at the beginning and very end, it relies on just the sorts of emotions and connections we'd like to be fooled into thinking drive the universe. Naturally, one man's Mother is another's Hallmark treacle. But in this case, for me and my wife, it worked.

Especially remarkable is the prior roles of these women: Delany had been the damaged- but-sweet bondage queen on a sex island. Pacquin had been the damaged-but-sweet victim of adolescent misdiscovery. Here, all that appeal transcends sex.

I'll follow Ballard on any outing he plans.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
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10/10
A movie to make your dreams soar
Sandol701 February 2012
There is already written a lot about the story of Fly Away Home, so I'm not going to repeat my previous reviewers.

I have watched the movie for the first time on German TV in 1998, by chance I zapped into the movie and stayed there, mesmerized, fascinated, enchanted by its magical richness of animal (goose) beauty and lush landscape cinematography. When the film ended, I had a lump of emotion in my throat for several days. Something changed deep inside of me, namely the perception of nature, animals, birds, specifically of wild geese. Something made click inside my mind, and since then I adore geese very deeply. Before the movie, geese were of no special interest to me, oh how ignorant I was! As a matter of fact, my love is so deep and the movie inspires me so much that I want get my own geese.

Fly Away home's cinematography and script is performed what I can describe as silent, calm, quiet and serene, but never lengthy; is performed suspense-packed, but never thriller-like. Romantic, but never corny or cliché. Close to life itself and nature, but never overcharged with exaggerated eco-messages. In short, a perfect mixture of all the elements that make a movie worthwhile.

The landscape shots are very idyllic (Oscar nomination on this movie for cinematography) and you begin to long and crave for a life on the country-side, away from it all, the boisterous cities and its citizens with their insignificant problems of their everyday lives. When Amy is flying in her ultralight airplane, leading the flock of geese as their surrogate mother, then you can see that the problems on land, down there, are small and trivial. That is where the geese show us how life is meant to be, more simple, more straight-forward, and peaceful. Brilliant.

And the film music, the fantastic movie score composed by Mark Isham, transports all the previous mentioned qualities and features in a perfect manner. The introductory song, 10,000 Miles by Mary Chapin Carpenter and co-composed by Mark Isham, is a real tearjerker of the special kind. This song alone summarizes what this movie is all about. Love, friendship, a deep bond among humans and animals, care for nature, peace, freedom and to never give up no matter what. The track expresses Amy's love to her family, and at the same time, the love between Amy and the wild geese. I cannot watch the movie without a package of Kleenex, and I'm male and an adult, a child at heart. I believe everyone has this ability, we just have to show it more often, and this movie can help to release the inner child in all of us.

There is no lukewarm love story in Fly Away Home which is a big plus, if at all, it's only presented very subtle and unobtrusive. There have to be more movies like this to prevent a shallow development in our society, but I digress. The main focus of attention is clearly on the geese, who out-act all human actors with feathery ease. Bravo! Please, more movies like this! There are, to my knowledge, only a handful of movies where script, cinematography, directing, music, dialogs and actors come together and are mixed in this perfection.

I can only recommend this movie to anyone who still believes in his or her dreams and wants to realize them. This movie supports you there and makes your imaginations soar, literally. As for my part, I'm checking out where I can get geese and how I have to keep them and gain their amazing friendship, deep bond and love. One of the most fascinating movies Hollywood has ever done, Oscar-nominated, and rightly so. Big kudos. Seal of approval: Highly recommended!
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9/10
A wonderful, beautifull movie
mrbluto5 June 2003
Fly away home is one of the best family movies ever made. The acting, the writing, the cinematography is breathtaking. Amy has lost her mother in a car crash and is going through a rough time living with the father she has not seen since she was 3 in Canada. Her growth in this movie centers on a flock of geese, Amy and her family plan to fly the geese to NC for the winter. Fly away home is a fun family movie with parts that will bring tears to your eyes. 9 out of 10 stars.
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9/10
A Timeless Classic
brown-faith9224 July 2013
"Fly Away Home" has been a favorite in my family for years. The story is classic, with every element of a film that is sure to last. The movie gives a vivid and often raw presentation of the relationships within a family, particularly between estranged members, and raises interesting questions about what family itself is and what it means. The view is utterly breathtaking as we're taken on a flight through the Canadian skies, following both the physical and emotional journey of Amy and her father. The father-daughter relationship, in any context, is often a touchy subject, and many films have a tendency to overdramatize certain elements of such a relationship. While the drama is certainly here with this one, we see less of the verbal, noisy drama than we do the quiet, awkward, tense, and somewhat snippy sentiments which exist between the two. Anna Paquin is flawless. Jeff Daniels will make you laugh, cry, and applaud. The chemistry between these two actors is beautiful, making this film one of the first and only that I have ever seen that has not made me despise the "rebellious daughter" figure. If this movie has a flaw, it is only that it is a bit slow by times. Still, for those who, like me, don't mind those sweepingly beautiful images of Canadian landscape, even if nothing much is happening... you'll enjoy the film.
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9/10
outstanding
mattkratz10 December 2012
This was a great movie about courage, overcoming tragedy, and leadership. After her mother is killed in a car accident, Anna Paquin moves to Canada with her father (Jeff Daniels) after he comes to pick her up. They discover a nestful of baby geese (newly hatched!) whose mother has just died too, and they have to learn how to fly. Unfortunately, they can't learn without example, and she has to be that example. She does so by building model airplanes which she flies. She makes news by showing them the way south.

I loved the aerial scenes (which were beautifully shot) and the scene where the daughter was horrified when the guy wanted to clip the chicks' wings. Everybody matures and serves as "parent figures" in the process. This was a throughly enjoyable movie and great "family fare." You will love it-guaranteed.

*** out of ****
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