This contemporary version of the classic true story stars the acclaimed talents of Hallie Kate Eisenberg (THE INSIDER, BEAUTIFUL, and BICENTENNIAL MAN) as Helen Keller, and Alison Elliot (THE SPITFIRE GRILL, THE WINGS OF T... more »HE DOVE) as Annie Sullivan. Helen, who has been unable to speak, hear, or see since childhood, is increasingly difficult to educate, and her parents find Annie Sullivan. Although she is new to teaching, it is through Annie's strong will and unshakable faith that Helen discovers how to survive and thrive in the world through the eyes and ears of others. Your family will love this story of these remarkable American women.« less
"At first it might not have seemed like such a bad idea to remake this movie again. Afterall the story of Annie Sullivan teaching Helen Keller communication is timeless and the 1979 version does prove that remakes can still work. So, if they had to do another one two decades later, why cast the Pepsi Girl in the coveted role as Helen?? I read a review that said her emotionless performance should be nicknamed "Frankenkeller", because she does indeed walk around like a robot! The only good thing about her performance is that she doesn't talk in the film! She is also too graceful a Helen. Patty Duke, and even Melissa Gilbert had a more wild animal like energy to their performances, while Ms. Pepsi seems bored as Helen (or is it that we are just bored at watching her? Would someone give her a Pepsi, please?? I was totally shocked that she didn't start singing at the pivotal water pump scene "The Joy of Wa-Wa"! However, she didn't say anything at all! Where is the emotional wallup that that scene has always brought to us?!On some postive notes: The sets are grand and so are the costumes. Ms. Allison's performance as young fiest Sullivan can almost stand proudly besides Anne Bancroft's Oscar-winning turn as Anne Sullivan and Patty Duke's Emmy-winning interpretation of her. Do yourself a favor and watch the 1962 and 79 versions, ones that didn't rape such a gorgeous tale."
"Not until You bless me"
E.Dickenson | 06/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This version of the Miracle Worker stands up quite well to the 1962 version.The story itself is so inspiring, and the principal characters are so good, that one can overlook a weak performance or two by supporting cast.The horrors of Anne Sullivan's childhood are whitewashed in this version( ie we don't learn that she was probably molested as in the 1962 film), but her character nevertheless shines through.When Helen's father suggests that perhaps the Lord did not mean for Helen to talk, Miss Sullivans reply-"I mean her to" resonates through one's being.The bible passage offered as a mealtime grace by the son near the film's conclusion is equally apt- a man wrestling all night with an angel,being wounded in his thigh, and unwilling to let go "until you bless me". We understand at once the deeper meaning of the literal wrestling that has constituted much of the film.The story remains a testimony to the human spirit that perseveres."
This movie works
Grace | Illinois | 12/29/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Ok, so maybe it doesn't have the same spark as the original "Miracle Worker" with Patty Duke and Anne Bancroft did, but it worked. There was nothing wrong with this movie. It's an extremely sensitive retelling of the classic story of a deaf, blind and mute little girl who learned to communicate through the tireless teachings of Annie Sullivan. This version was VERY different, and the acting was not quite as passionate as it was in the original movie, but what can I say? I still loved it. Hallie Kate Eisenberg is, without a doubt, absolutely adorable and Alison Elliott does an excellent job in her role as Ms. Sullivan. I do have to admit that it was quite a stretch to see Eisenberg, whom we all recognize as "The Pepsi Girl," taking on such a complex role. Portraying Helen Keller has got to be extremely difficult, and I'm sure many people feel that Eisenberg wasn't able to pull it off. But in my opinion, she did fine in the role. This movie profiles a more prim and graceful Helen who wears pretty dresses with laces and fancy shoes. It's quite a difference from Patty Duke and her more raggedy wardrobe, but who cares? They obviously wanted to give Helen Keller a different sort of style this time around, and hey, it works. And it isn't the clothes that matter in this case--it's the way the story is told. And this movie doesn't stretch or deface the facts, so it's good. Of course, this version didn't outdo the original--I have a hard time believing that anyone would expect it to, anyway. But that's not the point. This is merely just a modern-day retelling of a true story. Maybe this is the type of story that many people believe isn't a story of "sensitivity," but sensitivity is undoubtedly important. While the 1962 version was absolutely outstanding, there wasn't as much sensitivity in it as there could have been. This new version has more of that, and that's good. Eisenberg made the ending of the movie a thoroughly touching and unforgettable one. I liked seeing Mrs. Keller (Helen's mother) as a gentle woman who really flaunts her incredible amount of love for Helen. Helen's father, Captain James, was very tough and headstrong, and for some reason, that was the image I had painted in my head of Helen's father. Jimmy--the stepbrother of Helen--is charming, and the actor who played this character did a great job. It warmed my heart to see this young, hurting man guide his father to a transformation from anger to understanding. Basically, if you want to see a version of "The Miracle Worker" with basic historical accuracy and a fair share of sensitivity, then by all means buy this 2000 version. It doesn't equal the 1962 masterpiece that we all know and love, but it is still very good. It's also a WONDERFUL way to introduce younger children to the story of Helen Keller. The script is simple and straightforward, so if you are one of those people who does not know the story, this is a great movie to help you become better acquainted with Helen's unforgettable conversion to light and knowledge. My advice? Buy the movie--what's the harm? Just buy it and enjoy seeing a new version of the story."
Nancy Rushing | 07/01/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"After I watched this movie, I still like the original 1962 better. Why? Because it has more emotional impact in it, and it has really funny scenes like the "feeling emotions on faces" the original has. The "battle of wills" is more tame in this (the Disney version) one than the original. I've noticed they left out some really good scenes that was from the original.
This version from Disney is ok. The actress who played Anne Sullivan did good, but I like the original James (Helen's half-brother) better than this one. The little girl who played Helen in this version is not as good as Patty Duke, but she did well.
If I had a choice, I'd pick the original. But this is good to watch too, if you want to see both versions, even though it is MUCH different than the 1962 movie."
Stale Acting! Not the spirited Annie and Helen that we love
E.Dickenson | 05/25/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I was very excited that there was another "Miracle Worker" coming out, but unfortunately I was very, very, disapointed! I have seen both of the first ones many times and I love them both! Patty Duke is amazing! I would not recomend this movie at all, yes, Helen is very cute in it but the acting is rigid and stale. I want the old spirit back!"