Fly Away Home – 10,000 Miles

| April 20, 2021 | 0 Comments

The key scene in Fly Away Home is the last segment of the movie. So, this could be considered a spoiler. But I don’t think so because appreciation of the scene does not require the element of surprise. Rather, the whole movie seems to build to this last scene to the degree that I would not be surprised to learn that the producers created the movie for the sole purpose of preparing the audience for this awesome final scene.

The movie is about a young girl, maybe 13 years old, whose parents are killed in a car accident and she goes to live with her quirky uncle, the ubiquitous Jeff Daniels, who lives in a rural area of some New England state. Daniels plays an inventor with a passion for individual flying machines, those one-passenger small motorized wings. Much of the movie revolves around the fraught relationship between the grieving girl and her funky uncle.

At some point, the girl discovers goose eggs in a nest, nurtures them through hatching and beyond. There are no mother and father geese and the goslings follow her everywhere. They, like she, are orphans. The crisis develops when she and Daniels realize that this flock of geese needs to migrate south for the winter. But, since they have no parents, they won’t know how to do so or where to go. The only living being they follow is the little girl.

So, Daniels and the little girl concoct a plan in which he will build a flying machine, paint the wings to look like a mother goose and the little girl will fly south with the geese in tow. Predictably, their plan confronts challenges in the execution. There’s also a subplot in which the pond where they will be taking the geese in North Carolina is threatened by a developer. Every movie needs a bad guy.

All of this leads to the actual flight, which has its ups and downs….literally. The culmination of all this drama leads to the scenes of the girl flying Daniels’ contraption with the geese cruising alongside. And this is where the music takes it into my top ten list. Mary Chapin Carpenter’s ethereal song, 10,000 Miles plays in the background in a perfect accompaniment to the flight. If you don’t burst into tears when she clears that final hill, with the violins swelling and the crowd cheering for the final approach, well, I can only pity you for your hard-heartedness.


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