Out on DVD from director Lawrence Blume and writer Judy Blume comes the story of growing up with TIGER EYES.
This film tells the story of Davey (Willa Holland), a young girl who experiences the traumatic death of her beloved father. Mom Gwen (Amy Jo Johnson) has reverted inward and little brother Jason (Lucien Dale) is lost now young girl has no idea where to turn.
When Davey’s Aunt Bitsy (Cynthia Stevenson) takes the family to her home in Los Alamos, New Mexico she is bitter. Feeling uprooted from home and friends she runs out into the desert.
There she finds Wolf (Tatanka Means), a young Native American who sees the struggle. Introducing herself as Tiger the two become friends and lean on each other as Wolf explains his people and their beliefs.
Wolf, through his own father’s illness, teaches Davey that life constantly changes and moving forward with family and love is what helps us all through it.
FINAL WORD: Holland as Davey aka Tiger was an excellent choice. It is one thing to act a part but Holland brings out so much more. She has the ability to bring everything the character is feeling into her expressions and physical characteristics. Being so close to the event of the father’s death had to be especially difficult for such a young actress.
Means is actually quite beautiful as Wolf. Again, an actor who shows character emotions with his voice, face and even movement. The scenes with the tribal members is so very important and the feather ceremony not only stunning but very emotional to watch.
Stevenson as Aunt Bitsy was a give away from moment one. As a woman with no children of her own, this character went far beyond what most people would think appropriate for an Aunt. I was a tad upset believing, as Davey/Tiger did, that first keeping Mom sedated and then try and find her a man in Aunt’s town was a bit much.
Dale as Jason is very cute however having the same problems as Tiger. How do you talk about something no one wants to talk about? Johnson, even though the mother, has a small role but good to see it turn itself around.
Other cast include: Forrest Fyre as Walter Kronick, Russell Means as Willie Ortiz and Elise Eberle as Jane Albertson.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give TIGER EYES three and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. This is an inspirational family film to be sure as it touches on themes of parental death, being a teenager, spirituality from a different perspective, and all that goes with a family when it feels broken. The film takes time to explore each of these as they affect individual family members, not just Davey/Tiger although she is the central character. Delving into the beliefs and ceremonies of the Native Americans is so marvelous and I’m appreciative of that personally.
If the name Judy Blume seems familiar, perhaps you have read one or more of her iconic best-selling books such as “Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret”, “Forever” and “Summer Sisters”. For more information you can go to www.facebook.com/pages/Tiger-Eyes-Official-Movie-Page.
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In the end – it is how we forgive ourselves and love one another that makes us truly human!
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