Zoo | Salt Lake City Weekly

Zoo

Rated PG 97 minutes 2018

★★★★★ ★★★★★
In a mad world, there’s something slightly irresistible about a movie about nothing more than trying to wrestle some fundamental decency out of a terrible situation. Writer/director Colin McIvor’s fact-based story is set in 1941 Belfast, where young Tom Hall (Art Parkinson) attempts to save the local zoo’s baby elephant from a government order requiring the destruction of all potentially dangerous animals that could wind up loose after German air raids. Tom finds allies in a group of misfits—a troubled classmate (Emily Flain), an old woman (Penelope Wilton) who keeps dozens of pets—and it’s here that the story finds some honest emotion in unlikely friendships formed by people trying to do something good while the chaos of war engulfs their country. The young actors offer appealing performances, paired with veterans like Wilton and Toby Jones (as the zoo’s officious security guard), finding grace notes of mutual support. McIvor drizzles on the melodrama a touch thick at times, particularly through composer Mark Thomas’ generically inspirational score, but there are far worse messages for this moment than “working together, we can accomplish something of value.”

Film Credits

Official Site: www.samuelgoldwynfilms.com/zoo

Director: Colin McIvor

Producer: Christopher Figg, Kevin Jackson, Lisa Lambert, Robert Whitehouse, Katy Jackson, Jacqueline Kerrin, John Leslie, Thomas Vencelides and Dominic Wright

Cast: Art Parkinson, Penelope Wilton, Toby Jones, Ian McElhinney, Amy Huberman, Damian O'Hare, Stephen Hagan, Ian O'Reilly, James Stockdale and Pauline Hutton

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