Burnt out on his hectic filmmaking career, amateur diver Foster resolves to lead a more peaceful life in his native South Africa. Always drawn to the ocean, he decides to explore underwater. Avoiding cumbersome tanks, he teaches himself to hold his breath for extended periods. He then finds an accessible kelp forest and mingles with exotic species, including one remarkable female octopus who ends up stealing his heart- and ours.
The premise may sound dubious, but seeing is believing. Credit goes to Foster for making us recognize we all have something to learn from mollusks. The object of his affections is indeed wondrous, and we learn a lot about how these gentle, cunning creatures live and die. Kudos also go to director Ehrlich and cinematographer Roger Horrocks for the stunning underwater footage. A crowd favorite and Oscar winner for best documentary, this “Octopus” has something to teach us all.