On the Road with Jane Goodall, Planet Saver, in Jane's Journey
Spectacularly photographed and journalistically lame, Janes Journey blows a 105-minute kiss to Dr. Jane Goodall, the seventysomething primatologist-turned-conservationist oft-mistaken for the late gorilla expert Dian Fossey. Traveling 300-odd days a year in order to enlighten us about climate change (her own frequent flying is apparently OK), the calm, silver-haired Goodallquite proud of having escaped life in a horrid officesmiles serenely while clutching a stuffed animal during various photo ops, not least of which is the documentary itself. Everyone interviewed fawns over the pro-hope activist: One fan calls her a walking angel while another is shown buying two of her booksas well as a replica of Goodalls little felt-covered friend! Probably by intent, director Lorenz Knauer doesnt challenge, much less define, the exact nature of Goodalls environmental philosophy beyond her view that the world is lovely, and kids are the future, etc. Nor does he come close to penetrating his subjects highly controlled veneer, the better to behold the miracle of children shouting Save our spiders! and such. Janes Journey is a trip worth taking only if you believe that images of the woman riding in boats and cars are inherently fascinating. Those Tanzanian chimps are cute, thoughas is a predictably reverent Angelina Jolie.
Get the Film Club Newsletter
Stay up to date on the best new movies with our critics' latest reviews, interviews and trailers for the films coming to a theater near you each week.