Reviving family life in a rundown zoo
Barry C Chung
Directed by Cameron Crowe, We Bought a Zoo explores the hardships of a father who wants to save his troubled family while also preventing a neglected animal park from being closed. The film is based on the memoirs of a British columnist Benjamin Mee (Matt Damon).
Mee is heartbroken after the recent death of his wife. As a single father, he struggles to raise his two children, teenager Dylan (Colin Ford) and youngster Rosie (Maggie Elizabeth Jones).
Mee thinks his children need a change - to get away from the frenetic pace of life in Los Angeles.
So hoping to make a fresh start, the family relocates to a seven-hectare plot in the countryside. Rosie loves the place; Dylan hates it.
But this is no regular farmhouse: it's surrounded by the Rosemoor Animal Park, a rundown zoo that's no longer open to the public.
Mee must re-open the zoo, or the animals will be put to death, including an ageing tiger Rosie grows especially fond of.
Mee's lack of experience in running a zoo - and his lack of funds - may prove too much for him and head zookeeper Kelly (Scarlett Johansson) to overcome.
The journalist must find the strength to reinvigorate the bond in his family while at the same time save the animals at the zoo.
We Bought a Zoo opens today