Making the Grades
A strange man in a yellow suit (Ben Kingsley) hints at a magical marvel hidden in the woods behind Winnie Foster's (Alexis Bledeh) home when he comes asking questions at their offish estate.
Following a family row over her parents' plan to send her to finishing school, Winnie decides to escape the iron enclosure surrounding her house and head for the hills. But before long her anger is spent and the petulant runaway is lost. Pushing through the underbrush, she stumbles upon a young man drinking from a pool of clear water at the base of a gigantic tree. However, when she asks for a sip, the tired girl is roughly hauled off to an untidy hovel tucked in a grove of trees on the edge of a pristine lake.
Here she meets the Tucks---their father Angus (William Hurt), mother Mae (Sissy Spacek), the elder brother Miles (Scott Bairsotw) and the dark-haired, teenager Jesse (Jonathan Jackson) who she encountered at the spring. Welcoming her into their home, these mountain dwellers seem charmed with their guest and oblivious to the passing of time. Unlike her own driven and domineering mother (Amy Irving), they enjoy the simple pleasures of life. But all isn't as euphoric as Winnie first expects when Father Tuck takes her for a canoe ride and reveals their family secret.
With a posse led by her father (Victor Garber) closing in, Winnie must decide if she believes the Tucks fantastical tale and if so, what she can do to save their family from being discovered.
Based on a delightfully descriptive children's classic by Natalie Babbitt, Winnie is slightly older in this retelling allowing for a budding romance between herself and Jesse that culminates in a partially undressed swim and quick kiss. With other content concerns limited mostly to a saloon fight, some death threats and the murder of one character, Tuck Everlasting is a story suitable for nearly all families with older children or young teens.
Beautifully filmed in the green hills of Maryland, the movie leaves Winnie entrusted with powerful knowledge that will affect her life and the Tucks' ... forever.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Tuck Everlasting.
If you were given the choice Winnie is faced with, what age would you choose to be?
Winnie’s mother is always concerned about having her home in order while Mae Tuck seems content to live in a more disheveled household. How do the women’s sense of time affect the urgency they feel to get things done? Would you be less motivated to accomplish things if you felt you had all the time in the world?
How did the death of Winnie’s grandmother help her understand Angus’ comment on the “wheel of life”? Do you think that experience influenced her response to her difficult decision?