Movie Review – ‘Because of Winn-Dixie’

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

I saw this movie on Disney+, except it’s not a Disney-released movie. The film was originally released by 20th Century Fox in 2005. This is intriguing as this could easily have been a Disney movie. It has the ingredients in it, kids; a dog and a warm-hearted story. I’m surprised I didn’t see this at cinemas.

‘Because of Winn-Dixie’ is a lovely film. It’s based on the 2000 book by Kate DiCamillo of the same name. The film stars AnnaSophie Robb who plays India Opal Buloni, a 10-year old girl who is the daughter of a preacher who befriends a very big dog whom she names Winn-Dixie in Naomi, Florida.

I’ve seen AnnaSophia Robb in other films as she went on to play Violet Beauregarde in Tim Burton’s ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ film which was also released in 2005. She also played Leslie Burke in ‘Bridge to Terabithia’ which was made in 2007. This happens to be AnnaSophia’s film debut.

The film also features Jeff Daniels as Mr. Buloni, Opal’s father and also known as ‘the Preacher’. There’s Cicely Tyson as Gloria Dump, Luke Benward as ‘Steve’ Dewberry, Dave Matthews as Otis, Eva Marie Saint (who was in ‘North by Northwest’) as Ms. Franny Block and Courtney Jines (who was in ‘Spy Kids 3D: Game Over’) as Amanda Wilkinson. There’s BJ Hopper as Mr. Alfred, Nick Price as Dunlap Dewberry and a young Elle Fanning (who’s in the ‘Maleficent’ films) as Sweetiepie Thomas. 🙂

‘Because of Winn-Dixie’ was also released by Walden Media who co-produced the ‘Narnia’ movies with Disney and Fox. I like how this film has a certain charm to it as AnnaSophia delivers a lovely performance as Opal, playing a girl who tries to find a place in Naomi whilst befriending Winn-Dixie.

Most of the film is narrated in the first person by AnnaSophia as Opal. She tries to connect with her father who is distant from her and lost her wife who walked out of him. Opal tries to learn more about what her mother was like but her father ‘the Preacher’ is reluctant to share details about her.

Some kids’ films can have the tendency to be very zany, especially in today’s society. But this film was very pleasant to watch and it had the qualities of good character drama as well as having dabs of comedy in certain scenes. The comedy and the drama are balanced out well in this kids’ movie. 😀

The film does feature some nice songs played in the background and there are even songs played by the cast at some points. One song where most of the cast are singing is ‘Glory Glory’ and it’s sung by AnnaSophia Robb, Jeff Daniels, Cicely Tyson, Dave Matthews, Eva Marie Saint, Courtney Jines, Nick Price, Luke Benward, Elle Fanning and B.J. Hopper. I believe this was the song before the end credits.

I liked the relationship AnnaSophia as Opal formed with Winn-Dixie as the dog. It’s amusing he’s a big dog and he can cause accidents when unexpected. But Opal does cover for him and even protests once her dad is about to have him sent away since she needs Winn-Dixie to be her friend. 🙂

It’s also intriguing how Opal’s dad develops as a character. At first, he’s not a very good preacher and is reluctant to participate with others in the community. Opal does most of the interaction between members of the community, even when there are those who aren’t really likeable at first.

There is a moment when Opal lashes out at her dad because she thinks he doesn’t seem to care. I like it that scene was performed in the rain during a thunderstorm since Winn-Dixie goes missing and is afraid of thunder. But Opal’s dad does justify himself and she very soon forgives him in the end.

‘Because of Winn-Dixie’ is a lovely film. I’m glad my parents and I saw it on Disney+ recently. AnnaSophia Robb is very good in her film debut playing Opal and it was fun to see her interacting with the dog Winn-Dixie. I’m sure my Dad would like to have this film on DVD should I purchase it online. 😀

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂

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