Parents' Guide to

Anne of Green Gables: The Good Stars

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Friendship, family, and role models in coming-of-age tale.

Movie NR 2017 90 minutes
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This beloved literary heroine is played emphatically by Ballentine, whose maturity beyond her work in the first of the movie trilogy matches Anne's journey toward adulthood. Many of Anne's most memorable mistakes make an appearance in this installment, including her run-in with Josephine Barry (Joan Gregson), her near-drowning during a re-enactment of the Lily Maid, and of course her green hair incident. This segment also sees the introduction of her kindhearted mentor and teacher, Miss Stacy (Natalie Lisinska), who inspires and validates Anne in new ways. As Anne is challenged by the changes she sees and feels in her life, it's the adults like Marilla and Matthew (especially Matthew, who takes a more prominent and outspoken role in this story) who help her find her way.

Viewers who came to know Anne with an "e" in the 2016 movie will happily follow her continuing escapades in this second installment, which mostly lives up to its predecessor. As is often the case with the middle film in a trilogy, though, The Good Stars feels a bit like it's loose on both ends, jumping right into and out of the story in somewhat abrupt fashion. But even those fans of the classic Kevin Sullivan movie will find this remake more enjoyable than not, provided they can put to rest their expectations of it matching the original. Of particular note is Matthew's more assertive role in Anne's life, which tramples a bit on Montgomery's story but gives reason for Sheen to take a welcome turn in the spotlight. Ultimately this is a thoughtful coming-of-age story with excellent messages about family and friendship.

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