… the power of imagination and the inspirations of life? The Magic of Belle Isle is a story about a once famous writer named Monte Wildhorn, played by Morgan Freeman. He’s at an impasse in his life and in his writing, and he has taken to drinking. He’s also a bit of a philosopher. When he moves to Belle Isle for the summer, he gets acquainted with his next door neighbor, Charlotte O’Neil, played by Virginia Madsen. Charlotte has three daughters, one of whom makes up stories to tell her sisters. Monte tries to teach the middle daughter about writing and the inspirations of life, and he finds that with her observations of him he can become the writer he once was. Monte writes a children’s story for the youngest daughter, but Charlotte picks up on the fact that it is actually a love story of the two of them.
Monte and Charlotte have a very old-fashioned, courtly-mannered friendship that to me was very moving. Eventually, Monte stops drinking, and that’s when the magic starts to happen. This movie is a comedy, and although it seems slow moving at times, it really isn’t. It makes you think, and this is where the power of imagination and the believability of all things possible come in. It’s a story that will have you crying and laughing at the same time.
Reviewed by Terry (staff)