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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Dear Eleanor (2015)

This is a very whimsical movie where everything turns out for the best, but it could have gone so much differently.  Ellie is 15 years old and life is challenging for her.  Her mother was supposed to introduce Eleanor Roosevelt at a local event but instead she was killed in a car accident.  Ellie’s father, ably played by Luke Wilson, is bereft and not functioning at all well, and his five children, most of whom are quite small, are flailing too.  Ellie’s best friend Maxine writes a letter to Eleanor Roosevelt telling her of her friends’ plight, and a boy that badly wants Max to love him writes an answer and signs it ‘Eleanor Roosevelt’.  It is a wonderful plot devise that moves the story forward in an unexpected direction but no one is made out to be the bad guy.  Ellie and Max take Ellie’s mother’s car and set off cross country to see Eleanor Roosevelt, without a map or much of a plan.  The girls get into a number of interesting situations along the way, and while none of this sounds enticing, the script is great and the acting is as well, and it is a fun and thought provoking movie.

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