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Daniel B. from WARSAW, NY
Reviewed on 3/17/2011...
A GENIAL INNOCUOUS TALE A DELIGHTFUL PERFORMANCE BY ELLEN BURSTYN ALSO BY TAYLOR REST OF SUPPORTING CAST ENJOYED IT IMMENSLY
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Lisa B. from SUDBURY, MA
Reviewed on 2/20/2011...
This is a heartwarming tale of forgiveness and second chances, between a lonely older woman and a teenager who people gave up on. Christian story that is good for children except a few curse words.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Reviewed on 1/28/2009...
This is a really great movie. If you need a little pick me up check it out. This movie makes you think there are still some good people out there. I have it home now. It is one of my favorites!
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Deborah A. from WILLINGTON, CT
Reviewed on 11/15/2008...
very moving film awesome acting
2 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Life in the rural South with religious overtones.
Betty Burks | Knoxville, TN | 01/18/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Quite unexpectedly, I was invited to watch this movie by two acquaintances who had read Clyde Edgerton's book which inspired this adaptation. They knew what to expect. I did not. At first, I found it difficult to watch the scenes of the youth in detention, and thought the old lady was silly.
This film was produced by an Independent studio with a far-out name to be viewed only in the U.S. and Canada; maybe other countries would not understand the coloquial dialogue. Based in North Carolina, the accents were a little affected, but here in East Tennessee I am learning they speak their own type. You have to hear it to believe it. It's almost like a foreign language.
The subject matter is as old as life itself. Title of her favorite hymn and a saying she has when a stray dog enters her limited existence and she has no time to care for it. Early on, a humorous occurrence changes her life when she gets stuck in her rocking chair while watching her favorite soap operas on television. Thank goodness, she has called the animal control and the dogcatcher enters her house after he hears her calls for help when he comes to take the dog. Mattie, played by Ellen Burstyn, is lonely because her children check on her intermittenly at their convenience, but she does have nosey neighbors who have to know every little thing going on.
She's rescued by Lamar who has to break the chair to get her out as she is so tightly wedged in; in the process, his wallet slips out and, when he calls about it, she insists he come to get it at meal time. He offers to repair the chair and she (nosey little thing) reads a letter which is sticking out of the wallet he left on the table. He has a nephew in a lot of trouble.
Sixteen-yr-od Wesley, played by Jonathan Taylor Thomas, is an orphan whose life is threatened in a pre-pen environment, a place she has no idea of the reality as she unknowingly "adopts" him as the grandson she's yearned for -- someone who needs her. He was convinced she just had to be his grandmother, since he had no knowledge of his mother or family except for uncle Lamar.
Her middle-aged, pompous son was too heavy for the ladder which comes apart in the middle and is left hanging from the gutter. He discovers Wesley there doing chores and foolishly insists on doing the work himself. The daughter wants to transplant her to a retirement home to be near people her own age.
Her involvement in helping this young boy revives a life gone to seed. Wesley couldn't get enough bubble baths, but was afraid of water when she took him fishing at the spot where her father had taken her in times past. It was freakish how he learned to swim. He is a product of his environment, and this film shows the harsh reality of life as it still is in certain situations.
The ending is touching as she revives her strength and has a reason to live. She's like a new person with a pride not just in her 'good cooking' skills but with a purpose, a destiny to help another human being she considers as 'the least of us' as interpreted by her Baptist preacher. He needed to practice what he preaches, as does his interfering wife who looks like Namuni Young, who want to ostracize Mattie -- who shows them a thing or two.
There were 'laugh-out-loud' parts of this movie, and some which may make you want to cry. If you are feeling low or things just aren't working out, this book will revive your faith in humankind."