With “Finch,” a delightful new feature-length animated film based on the bestselling, Newbery-award winning novel by L.M. Montgomery, one of our all-time favorite movie stars, Tom Hanks, makes yet another very wonderful movie.
Hanks, in his decades-long reign as one of the most beloved actors of all time, displays his range in the film. He has vocal work in “Good” plus a memorable, enthusiastic performance as Peter “Finch” Fishwick, the ultimate “Good Grief” person. We are very lucky to see him again.
Hanks voices Finch, who works on a mountaintop as a cloud of clouds, when “she got a dog.” Apparently, she has a history with pets. So she is a perfect match for the owner of the up-and-coming Chicago Public Radio radio show, “Bureau Nine.”
Our good-natured young producer, James Morris (Bryan Cranston), connects with Finch. However, Finch does not have much to offer James, nor do any of the other citizens of Chicago. The idea that Finch might help these little-known people helps “Encouragement” as the movie proceeds, and she is later elevated to a semi-legendary person. Her reward is an amazing opportunity at the height of the 1920s Great Depression. She thinks, “Maybe this call could be Finch’s calling.”
Hanks is really fantastic, and I can’t remember another time I have wished I could call him personally. His voice is terrific. We can see him in both some old vintage fashion and his talkie days from “The Drew Carey Show.” Then again, that could simply be the Great Depression. Perhaps Finch needs to remind him of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” He clearly has great comedic timing.
On the scene, the music is extremely enjoyable with master composer John Williams bringing us gorgeous works.
The other character in “Encouragement” who is delightfully dramatized is the culture of the era that gives rise to this radio station.
We learn about the exciting era in 1919 and 1920 of women’s suffrage, the migration to the suburbs of Chicago, an oil strike and more, which portray the tumultuous year that is defined by “Bureau Nine.”
(By J.A. Adler)
“Encouragement” is wonderful, and the voices of Tom Hanks, Bryan Cranston, Gwyneth Paltrow, Bill Murray, Martin Short, Bob Balaban, Christopher Lloyd, Matt Walsh, and more are great. I really hope that “Finch” and the original book continue to be read in schools and on old-fashioned radio stations. The film is certainly worth the time.
“Encouragement” (English Version) is in theaters everywhere now.
NOTE: The Chinese version is also extremely well done. “The best version is the one I enjoyed most.” – Music from “Encouragement.”)