All the Little Animals
Entertainment: +1 1/2
Acceptability: -1

Nature has its many intricacies. And if we stop long enough to look at a few of them, well often be amazed by the results. This is the case for Bobby (Christian Bale), a 24-year-old man doomed to live with a mind of a nine year old because of a car wreck. After Bobbys mother dies, his stepfather, whom he very unaffectionately calls The Fat (Daniel Benzali), is left to raise him. But The Fat wants him to sign over his one asset, his mothers store. When Bobby refuses, The Fat scares him with stories of hospitals and asylums, so Bobby runs away. He ends up with Mr. Summers (John Hurt), a nomad who hikes around the back roads of England doing the work. He buries road kill. This instantly appeals to Bobby, a lover of animals, and the two begin a budding friendship that is a joy to see develop. Along the way, Bobby observes things in nature that help him to find his niche in the world. The movie is beautifully filmed, and Christian Bale is superb as he exhibits the childlike wonder of a nine year old. However, due to its limited release and lack of publicity, its not likely to be a moneymaker at the box office.

Watching Bobby grow and develop through his friendship with Mr. Summers is inspirational. All Bobby wants is to find his place in the world, and, through a series of thought provoking scenes, we follow Bobby on his journey. The scenes contain an innocence that is rarely exhibited on film. The refreshing viewpoint of a child has the ability to pierce any adult to the core of their being, and that is where these scenes find their greatest value. Mr. Summers is also intriguing to watch as we see him transform from a hard and crusty old man to one who cares deeply for another human being. However, the film does portray one scene of graphic violence when a man is cut on the neck. Not only is the actual cutting shown close-up, another close-up occurs later after the cut has bled for a while. There are also four regular profanities and three moderate crudities, causing All the Little Animals to just miss our recommendable list.

Preview Reviewer: John Adair
Distributor: Recorded Picture Company, 24 Hanway St., London, W1P 9DD England

Crude Language: Few (4) times - Mild 1, Moderate 3
Obscene Language: Once (s-word)
Profanity: Few (4) times All Regular (My G 2, For G sake, In G name)
Violence: Few times Moderate, Once Graphic (car wreck, man crushed by car, man punched and kicked, man cut)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: Several times (alcohol, smoking)
Other: Importance of life stressed; character searches for his place in life; positive view that disabled people can contribute to the world; friendship is a definite virtue and something that is valued
Running Time: 112 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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