Amazing 7-year-old actress stuns NYC

Little Maggie Elizabeth Jones captivates a New York city movie screening's audience with her sweet, innocent charm as little Rosie in "We Bought a Zoo"

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coming of age, his daughter’s innocence and his own deep emptiness?

A hostile USDA inspector shows up for a pre-inspection and dumps on this reeling family new federal rules requiring at least $150,000 of extensive renovations before the park can re-open to paying customers. The grizzly escapes. Dylan unlatches a crate of newly arrived snakes – which also escape. A key staff member leads a mutiny of the remaining skeleton crew, which it turns out work out of their love for the animals and without salaries, receiving only room and board. Even so, the piles of bills push Benjamin toward the edge.

One after another, irresolvable problems mount in this family comedy, climaxing in a screaming match between father and dark young artist son – a scene that brought viewers at a recent screening in cynical New York City to tears.

Completely unpredictable in its story line, the 124-minute We Bought a Zoo defies the skeptical. Expecting a cliched love story between Damon’s character and the beautiful, effervescent zookeeper played by Scarlet Johansson, the viewer instead aches as Damon struggles with the impossible, not the least of which is a dark, adolescent son driven to sketching bloody decapitations.


He and his dreamer father, both teetering on the edge of collapse, finally admit to one another: “I never know what to say to you.” But this film has many such peaks – all which satisfy. Rosie plays midwife to baby peacocks. The sadistic USDA inspector returns. A week of monsoon rains threaten the all-important, make-or-break opening day. Dylan breaks the heart of a bubbly 12-year-old who brings him sunshine, daily sandwiches and teenage angst. Over and over, this film doesn’t disappoint – there is no oh-so-predictable kiddie first-time kiss

Maggie as "Rosie"

as Dylan blurts that he loves everything about her.

This film will give anybody but the coldest of heart the warm fuzzies.

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Rob Kerby
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Related Topics: Movie, Matt Damon, Scarlet Johansson