We Bought a Zoo (2011)


“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.” – Benjamin Mee

Number of Times Seen – 2 (19 Mar 2012 and 14 Sep 2017)

Brief Synopsis – A recently widowed man tries to get his life back on track by buying a new home that also includes a local zoo which needs to be restored.

My Take on it – This is a film that I recalled fondly despite not being as impactful as it might have been.

Matt Damon does a great job in the lead role and shows a side of himself that we rarely get to see; his vulnerability.

The way that they tell us the story works well because we get to see how a man was able to pick himself up after such a tragedy and try to make a difference in his life, his children’s lives and a small zoo on the verge of being closed.

The fact that this is based on a real story helps make this film feel even more impactful that one could hope for, but I’m a bit disappointed tho that the fact that the real book that this film is based on starts a few months or years earlier and also chronicles their lives before the tragedy and had they started there, it would have given the story a much broader approach and impact.

Regardless, they still do a fine job of giving us an enjoyable and meaningful story about finding a way to move on in life following such a tragedy.

Bottom Line – Nice and touching story that shows the possibilities when people think there are no more.  Damon actually does a great job in the lead and we get to see a side of him that he rarely shows in his roles; a bit of vulnerability. Based on what I’ve read about the original story, it’s a bit unfortunate that they started the story after the main character’s wife passes away instead of a few months or even years earlier like the book apparently does because that would give the story an even larger scope.  Regardless, they do a nice job with what they did here because it gives us a nice view of one man’s decisions once his life is thrown end over end. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – When Matt Damon’s character climbs over the tree the real Benjamin Mee, Milo Mee (Dylan in the movie) and Ella Mee (Rosie in the movie) can be seen as the first family in line. In the scene, Benjamin Mee is wearing what appears to be a Dartmoor Zoological Park cap, which is the actual zoo in England on which the movie is based. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy

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One thought on “We Bought a Zoo (2011)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 2011 |

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