Kepler's Dream (NR)
Based on the 2012 YA novel by Juliet Bell, Kepler's Dream is a study in family dynamics that's sweet without being too saccharine. A city kid who doesn't know a palomino from a pinto, Ella shows up to her grandmother's New Mexico home in a cartoonish cowboy hat, inspiring snark from the locals. She slowly assimilates to her new surroundings, which she nicknames "broken family camp" -- a ranch full of high-priced first editions where peacocks and barn swallows roam freely under a sky smattered with constellations.
Blake-Thomas gives Ella equal parts spunk and curiosity, the perfect foil for Taylor's character, a rare book collector who has no time for the kid's "likes," "ums" and "yeahs." In a deliciously savage scene, Violet scolds Ella: "Don't be a Philistine!" But when one of those books goes missing, Ella channels Nancy Drew in an attempt to save a family friend from taking the blame. With charming source material, Glazer brings a feel-good puzzler for young audiences from page to screen.