Two-time Oscar winner Jodie Foster joins Jodie-to-be Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine) in Nim's Island (PG), a tropical fantasy that wasn't previewed by a St. Petersburg Times critic.
Based on Wendy Orr's novel, Foster plays agoraphobic author Alexandra Rover, who works out her insecurities through her creation, intrepid adventurer Alex Rover. Breslin plays Nim Rusoe, a devoted fan of Rover's books while she lives with her scientist father (Gerard Butler, 300) on an isolated island.
When Nim's father disappears, she writes to "Alex Rover" asking his assistance. Butler also plays Alex, the imaginary hero only Alexandra can see and hear as he taunts her fears, persuading her to join Nim for a dangerous rescue mission. Getting there is half the battle for such a neurotic mess.
Nim's Island promises childish adventure, anthropomorphic critters and a rare chance for Foster to lighten up with a comedic role. And no, her "I want my dog back" line amid grim circumstances in The Brave One doesn't count.
Steve Persall, Times film critic