“We Bought a Zoo’ is Cameron Crowe’s first feature film in six years, and he’s come back in good form.

The film deals with themes that are close to his heart – believing in yourself, seizing upon opportunities to reinvent your life, and reaching for your true happiness.

These are concepts that can play like preachy and pretentious bumper stickers (as was the case with his last film, the disappointing ‘Elizabethtown’), but thankfully the balance works almost as effortlessly here as it did in ‘Jerry Maguire’. And like that film, it’s genuine and goodhearted with a sharp screenplay and winning performances throughout.

Particularly impressive is Ellie Fanning, who can melt your heart or punch your gut with a single look.