The script by the husband-and-wife directing team of Mark Levin and Jennifer Flackett ("Little Manhattan") along with producer Paula Mazur and Joseph Kwong draws upon Wendy Orr's 2002 novel about a remote volcanic paradise that hosts two humans, a tomboyish young girl Nim (Abigail Breslin) and her scientist father. Her playmates are Selkie the Sea Lion, Fred the Bearded Dragon and Galileo the Pelican, while her literary hero is Alex Rover, the lionhearted star of adventure novels.
When a storm strands her dad at sea without any means of communication and the island is threatened with devastation -- by tourists -- she reaches out to Alex via the Internet. How is Nim to know that her hero actually is Alexandra Rover (Jodie Foster), an agoraphobic writer locked up in her San Francisco apartment, afraid to venture as far as the mailbox.
Both females find the inner strength to challenge their worst fears, thanks in large measure to the fictional courage of Alex Rover. Scottish hunk Gerard Butler plays the dual role of Nim's father and the intrepid Alex Rover, an Indiana Jones with a heartier laugh, who appears to Alexandra and haunts Nim's imagination.
Unlike "Romancing the Stone," where a novelist finds herself pleasingly trapped within an adventure that mirrors her fictional creations, "Nim's Island" doesn't know where to draw the line between real life and fiction. When "real life" characters pilot a helicopter and then a row boat in a typhoon and a little girl can jump start a volcano, what role does fiction have to play?
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