An unforgettable drama.
Jakey | 08/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first viewed this movie in 1997, and fell in love with the film immediately.
This film is a rarity in cinema, in regard to the fact that it follows the book (by Cynthia Voight) quite accurately. I've seen so many films, particularily in America, in which the cinematic/television rendition of a novel seems to veer far away from the original story. This film does not, and I credit director Mark Jean for faithfully adapting this wonderful novel to film. Special mention is also due to screenwriter Christopher Carlson for his loyalty to the author's literary art of this story.
The four children in this film will steal your heart. Far too many films attempt the use of 'sentimentalism' as a tactic for capturing the viewer. This film, on the contrary, wins us over through its stark reality in what might happen under such dire circumstances as juvenile-sibling homelessness. We, the viewers, begin to discover ourselves feeling enveloped by the trials & difficulties these children face. The four kids are indeed good actors. Nevertheless, it is their fortitude that we come to admire, (particularily that of 'Dicey', played in a stealth peformance by Kimberlee Peterson).
Moreover, words cannot accurately describe the sheer, stunning performance, (during the latter half of this film), brought forth by Academy Award winner Anne Bancroft. Assuredly, there is not an actress living today who can boast of a talent greater than the awe-inspiring Ms. Bancroft. What separates an 'everyday' actor from the 'great' ones? Simply stated, it is when we view a film and we find ourselves BELIEVING the character we see before us on the screen. For the better part of an hour, I had totally forgotten that the lovely Anne Bancroft had been cast for this film. Instead, I saw Abigail..... a reclusive and mean-stricken (on the surface) old lady, who has such an overwhelming burden of hurt deep within her, one tends to think she is beyond despair. Yet the willed-determination of a child, of grandchildren who desire nothing more than the tiniest sliver of acceptance...... can even the most crotchety of human beings turn away those who need him/her above all else?
In this film, the outcome is not predictable as one might assume. If you're wishing to view a dramatic story/film that you'll not soon forget, "Homecoming" is a choice highly-recommended.
"Delightful, entertaining, and beautifully filmed!"
Jerry Parks | Lexington, KY USA | 04/26/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It was one of those Fridays in late Spring when a teacher just wants to pop in a video for the middle schoolers that teaches without a lesson, entertains without 'the bad stuff', and holds the kids' attention through superb acting, and not idiacy. I had heard several students mention 'Dicey's Song' as a favorite Accelerated Reader book, and decided to rent this film, which is in the same series. Not only did the kids love 'The Homecoming'--I loved it too! The story centers around Dicey and her younger brothers and sister. They are abandoned by their mother in a mall parking lot, and struggle to find a place in the world to accept them.Ann Bancroft, a veteran first-rate actress in every respect, carries the 'heavy' role as the reclusive and often strange grandmother. She dominates the film, and must've been a model of acting excellence to the kids! The children are wonderful too. Each of the four is believeable in character, and convincing in performance.The strength of 'The Homecoming' (besides Bancroft) is the cinematography. It is wonderfully filmed! Shadow and light, water and mist, camera angle and mood creation--all lift the film well above average for this type genre. 'The Homecoming' owes much to the masterful touch of a director's keen knowlege of children, and New England. I can't find much to criticize in this film. Other than a six-year-old making an overt (though true) reference to all the children having the same father, and later briefly showing his behind in a rainstorm sequence, the film is safe, true to the author's intent, and expertly crafted.There are few movies which my seventh-graders ask to borrow. This is one."
Your heart will be broken............then it will be warmed!
Rhonda Shelton | Texas | 12/01/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Homecoming" tells the story of four siblings in search of their
grandmother after being abandoned in a mall parking lot by their
mother who suffers from a mental illness. Led by the oldest
sister, Dicey (age 13), the children travel many miles on foot
to a grandmother they have never known. Anne Bancroft does a
fantastic job of portraying a cranky old woman who has forgotten
what it is to love and be loved. The children do a great job of
reminding her. You'll be impressed by these believable
characters and script. Superb acting! You'll never forget this
Big sis becomes little mum
Michael Eldicott | Cyprus,ex. UK | 06/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Abandoned by their mother, 3 small children have to rely on the fortitude and strength of their older sister (herself but a child). Determined to keep the family together, she avoids the authorities and, virtually penniless, leads her charges on a long walk in search of an aunt they've never seen. The aunt has died, so they continue in quest of a grandmother, who, left bitter and reclusive by a repressive marriage and loss of her children, gives them a less than warm welcome. The children need someone who can provide security, the grandmother needs someone who can provide love and companionship, but can fulfilment of this mutual need stand against her intransigence? Resolution comes in an underplayed scene without dialogue which is more telling than any I've seen in a movie in a long time. The film can't be faulted: story, script, direction, casting and acting are topnotch, with great performances by the child actors and Anne Bancroft (what a natural actress she was). PS: Bonnie Bedelia is almost unrecognisable in her role as the children's spinsterish cousin, a tribute to her performance and the work of makeup/costume dept."