Because of Winn-Dixie (film)
|Because of Winn-Dixie|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Wayne Wang|
|Produced by||Trevor Albert
|Screenplay by||Joan Singleton|
|Based on||Because of Winn-Dixie
by Kate DiCamillo
|Music by||Rachel Portman|
|Cinematography||Karl Walter Lindenlaub|
|Edited by||Deirdre Slevin|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|January 26, 2005(USA Film Festival)
February 18, 2005
Because of Winn-Dixie is a 2005 family film adapted from the book of the same name by Kate DiCamillo and directed by Wayne Wang. It was produced by Walden Media and released by 20th Century Fox. The role of Winn-Dixie was played by two Picardy Shepherds, a rare breed from France.
10-year-old India Opal Buloni has just moved to the small town of Naomi, Florida with her father, a preacher.
While in the Winn-Dixie supermarket, she encounters a scruffy dog that is wreaking havoc. (Winn-Dixie's breed is Berger Picard). Opal claims that it is her dog and names it Winn-Dixie. Winn-Dixie becomes friends with everyone he encounters, and so she makes some new friends in the process. She also rekindles her relationship with her father, and learns ten things about her mother, who abandoned them seven years ago. Opal describes the preacher as an old turtle, always sticking his head into his turtle shell and never wanting to come out into the real world. This is most likely because of how sad he is about her mother, with whom he is still in love.
One of the people Opal meets is Miss Franny Block, a kind and somewhat eccentric elder librarian, who tells her many great stories, including one involving a bear. Opal also meets Gloria Dump, a blind recovering alcoholic with a tree in her backyard that has beer bottles hanging from it. She calls it a 'mistake tree' and the bottles represent the ghosts of all the things she has done wrong. One day, fed up with Winn-Dixie, the landlord of the Bulonis' trailer park, Mr. Alfred, orders the preacher to get rid of the dog. The preacher calls the animal pound to take Winn-Dixie away, but Opal begs her father to keep her dog. Unable to see his daughter this upset, the preacher tells the pound to return Winn-Dixie, claiming that he is not the same dog he called about.
Opal gets a job at Gertrude's Pets and befriends a worker there, Otis, a shy ex-convict with a passion for music. She also meets a girl named Sweetie Pie Thomas, who is eager to get a dog like Winn-Dixie. Later, a thunderstorm comes and Winn-Dixie, being afraid of thunderstorms, runs away. While Opal looks for him, her father wants to give up and she blames him for the loss of her mother and Winn-Dixie running away. But her father explains that he tried very hard to look for her mother. He then admits that he believes that she is never coming back. Later they go back to a party and Otis starts to sing a song on his guitar. Winn-Dixie is heard outside howling along to the song. Everyone, while singing, lets him in and welcomes him back.
- AnnaSophia Robb as India Opal Buloni
- Jeff Daniels as "The Preacher", Opal's father, Mr. Buloni
- Cicely Tyson as Gloria Dump
- Luke Benward as Steven "Stevie" Dewberry
- Dave Matthews as Otis
- Eva Marie Saint as Ms. Franny Block
- Courtney Jines as Amanda Wilkinson
- BJ Hopper as Mr. Alfred
- Nick Price as Dunlap Dewberry
- Elle Fanning as Sweetie Pie Thomas
- Harland Williams as Policeman
- John McConnell as Store Manager
- Becca Lish as Gertrude the Parrot
- Lyco and Scott as Winn-Dixie
The film received mixed reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 53% based on 118 reviews, with an average rating of 5.8/10. The site's consensus was: "An old-fashioned, if bland, adaptation of Kate DiCamillo's novel." At Metacritic, the film holds a score of 54% based on 27 reviews, indicating "Mixed or average reviews".