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  • This is a gentle, low key story about a pregnant 17 year old girl whose mother rejects her, and the people who rise to the occasion and care for her. It's very well cast with America Ferrera (the young actress from "Real Women Have Curves) as the girl, Aidan Quinn and Rachel Griffiths as the high school teachers and Megan Follows (Anne Shirley from the wonderful Sullivan Films production of "Anne of Green Gables") as Quinn's wife. It was lovely to see Marion Seldes on screen again too. The story is predictable, but the writing and acting is lovely. If you like gentle dramas and very real characters, this made for TV (Hallmark Hall of Fame) movie will be worth your time.
  • This film would make a great TV Series because it was very down to earth about every day living with average American people in a town which manages to solve its own problems. There is a wife who just simply cannot stand the every day life of having two sons and a husband to care for and just wants to stay in bed or run away to her sister who lives in a big city apartment. There is also a young girl who finds out she is going to have a baby and her mother throws her out of the house and she winds up living with two old kind men on their ranch! This was a film the entire family could enjoy and learn a very important message about love and caring for your fellow neighbor and close friends. All problems have a solution and good comes out of all bad situations.
  • I usually read a book and then am disappointed in the movie. America Ferrara kept me from feeling that way about "Plainsong." She carried the film. Kent Haruf's book was wonderful, and she was wonderful in portraying the character of the young woman, pregnant and disowned, central to the action. Her talent elevated this Hallmark flick WAY above the norm.

    I am glad she has a new venue on mainstream TV, and hope we will see a lot more of her in big screen releases. She is not a traditional beauty, yet she has leading lady presence. She is someone I hope to see a lot of in the future.
  • Mikey-9927 April 2004
    I loved the book and I loved the tv version. Every actor was superb. I skipped the Sopranos to watch this and I'm glad I did. Bravo to everyone associated with it. Aidan Quinn was so right as the dad and Brenda from Six Feet Under was perfect as the girlfriend. The three seniors in the story were best of all, the two ranchers and the old lady who dies. I could not get over how moving they were. Then there were the two little boys. They were real, not at all actor-y. The film managed to convey and America so at variance from the cold place many of us experience. It almost made me want to head west. One last thing: the thuggy teenager was also fine as were his repulsive parents. BUT BEST OF ALL was the writing.
  • The movie Plainsong was unlike any other movie I have seen. It was very good. Even though it was set in the country, I found a liking for it. Since it is a Hallmark movie though, some things that would probably be in a motion picture were taken out so the movie could keep it's Hallmark quality. America Ferrera played a role unlike any other that she has been noted for, and sweet Anne of Green Gables' Megan Follows, plays a character totally opposite of Anne. Overall the movie was very good, If it was more descriptive and showed more things, then I'm sure more people would have cried other than just me. I loved the movie a lot and I am going to buy it on DVD. If you would like to buy it, just go to any Hallmark Store near you.
  • I happen to come across this gem of a "made-for-T.V.-movie" while vegetating in a hotel room on a business trip. I was pleasantly surprise to see Rachel Griffth in a Hallmark movie. She and Aidan Quinn lent a jolt of electricity to the story that no other actors could. Geoffrey Lewis turned in a helluva a performance in the role of one of the mentally challenged brothers that come to the rescue of a few of the character in the bitter-sweet tale of fractured life in present-day, rural Colorado. America Ferrara has been blessed with the same fierce but sympathetic spark that made Lili Taylor so brilliant in Dogfight. I reccomend this movie not just because it is so good and real but because it is the rare 'good' T.V. dramas that the whole family can watch.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Interesting but too many plots bring this film down. We have a teacher who is pressured to pass a miserable child so that they can get him out of the school despite the fact that the brat assaulted the teacher. The teacher (Aidan Quinn) has a wife who has left him, apparently suffering from depression and has gone to her sister in Denver. There are 2 young polite boys from the marriage who eventually find an old lady dead in her apartment. They deliver the paper to her and never bother to report that the woman, who lost her son in Korea, has died. The boys get caught up with that miserable student, who has bigoted parents.

    If this isn't enough, we have America Fererra, who has been abandoned by her mother when it is determined that she is pregnant. She goes to live with 2 older gentlemen who have kept to themselves following the deaths of their parents. They are recommended by the teacher in the next room who has romantic visions on Quinn. The school secretary also has an eye on this man.

    Yes, the movie is interesting but the themes abound. Each character could have developed into a story by itself. Was the teacher motivating the student? The pressure that teachers are faced with to pass students according to their supervisors is another theme. The depression of the mother. The life of the old woman (Marion Seldes) and the 2 older gentlemen who find they can contribute to life. I could go on and on.
  • I happen to come across this gem of a "made-for-T.V.-movie" while vegetating in a hotel room on a business trip. I was pleasantly surprise to see Rachel Griffth in a Hallmark movie. She and Aidan Quinn lent a jolt of electricity to the story that no other actors could. Geoffrey Lewis turned in a helluva a performance in the role of one of the mentally challenged brothers that come to the rescue of a few of the character in the bitter-sweet tale of fractured life in present-day, rural Colorado. America Ferrara has been blessed with the same fierce but sympathetic spark that made Lili Taylor so brilliant in Dogfight. I recommend this movie not just because it is so good and real but because it is the rare 'good' T.V. dramas that the whole family can watch.
  • Plainsong is an excellent example of a book that should never have been made into a movie. It would take at least a mini-series to do justice for this novel. ANyone who has not read the book would be lost for a good portion of the film. Aiden Quinn made an excellent performance. Good casting for the McPheron brothers. Because I have read the book, I had high expectations for this movie, even if it was for tv (and Hallmark for that matter). However, the movie did have a 'simplicity' to it, which is the most credit it can get in comparison to its book. I would encourage anyone who found any interest in the film to read the book. In lieu of remakes, I suggest mini-series sans greeting card commercials.
  • I've seen just about every film directed by Richard Pearce. There's something in his understanding of actors that always brings out the best in them. That's especially evident in films like "Country", "A Family Thing" and "The Long Walk Home". It's hard to walk that thin line between heartfelt personal stories and overwrought melodrama. "Plainsong", however, isn't completely successful in avoiding the latter. The story itself has a lot in common with other Hallmark films, a way of unfolding that is a bit more predictable and/or comfortable than you might see in an average theatrical film. The TV movie feeling is the main, and only real thing holding "Plainsong" back.

    I'd noticed America Ferrera before, like I suppose most people have. But the only thing I'd actually seen her in was her first film, "Real Women Have Curves". She's so quiet here that it's almost like she's not there at all sometimes. That's not a bad thing, it reminded me of myself for a good part of my teenage years. She gets across the lost and confused feeling so well. The most fascinating and accomplished performances are those of Geoffrey Lewis and William Andrews as the elderly farmer brothers, and Marian Seldes as the lonely shut-in. They are so real, so believable. Rachel Griffiths and Aidan Quinn, whom many will be familiar with, are actually of much lesser interest than the younger and older actors. Nonetheless, they give very good performances.

    In all, "Plainsong" doesn't reach so far as it might. It stays on the outskirts of anything truly intense, but the feeling of gentle reality still bubbles to the surface. I'm truly glad I saw it, and I can't see how anyone couldn't take at least something away from the experience. I recommend that you pursue more of Richard Pearce's films.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I am surprised that some other viewers were disappointed with this movie.

    It was bit "real worldly" for a Hallmark movie. But, it was about people making mistakes, and having to deal with the poor judgment of others.

    SPOILER!

    It was also about people forgiving, accepting others and making room for people who are different. Maybe to some viewers it will be a bit predictable, but it is a story about healing and making the best of what goes wrong with life.

    I give it 6* out of 10.
  • I will almost always watch ANYTHING Hallmark because of it's inherently safe family viewing qualities and middle of the road quality of production. I didn't read the book so I had no other prior expectations. It seemed like we picked up the story (in an unknown time era unless I missed it at the very beginning) of the main family, the Guthries, in the middle of the story, with no flashbacks to clear up how they had gotten to where we find them. The continuity to the other story thread, the pregnant teenager, was through Mr Guthrie's work. Another comment mentioned, as I also noticed, there seemed to be some pieces not mentioned, but able to be figured out that may have been omitted for time sake. The main thrust of the story seems to be how the characters deal with and overcome their problems with an emphasis on how friends and community were involved in helping dealing with these problems. The story stops much as it started, at a logical stopping point with only some of the issues resolved. This method of storytelling may be normal, I just wish there had been MORE story! All of the portions shown were good quality, well acted, and not overdone. I would love to see it again and would highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in "period dramas". Thanks again to Hallmark for funding such endeavors.
  • I was completely disappointed by "Plainsong". It was a badly-written screenplay and thoroughly depressing movie from start to finish. Two young boys find a dead lady they're working for, and also get abducted and stripped by drunk high school jocks. These lucky young lads also happen to be mothered by an mentally ill woman, who also, by the way get left at a complete stranger's house to spend the night, only to be abandoned while asleep: nice, real nice. Their Dad's not much better (Aidan Quinn, where has your career gone dude?), he's getting ready to date all of the town skanks before the divorce papers are written. He's also is a crappy teacher, nice touch. Add the pregnant teenager to the mix, a 17 year-old who runs off to Denver with her abusive boyfriend only to get drunked up and puts her unborn child in danger, and this is what passes for family entertainment these days??? I can't believe Hallmark put their name on this load of manure. Look, I like a disturbing tale as much as anybody, but they usually have a plot, and don't have the name "Hallmark" associated with them. My wife and I watch Hallmark movies because they consistently are some of the best family entertainment available on television. Not this movie, not by a long shot. A special guest appearance by William Hung couldn't have butchered this "song" any worse.
  • I sat through the whole thing, hoping it would get better, but it didn't. Seeing Megan Follows again after Anne of Green Gables was sort of interesting, but too bad she didn't play a very good character (she leaves her husband). The acting was fine and the part about the boys being bullied was interesting, but I was hoping for a story of redemption as so often comes from Hallmark Hall of Fame. Disappointing. There wasn't much violence or any really bad scenes, but this is not worth the time to watch. I gave it a 2/10.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Spoilers... so scroll down to see review...............

    Yet another lame plot where partners just dissolve and immediately hook up with someone else, effortlessly. Happy ending: a brand new family. I'm tired of seeing "alternative family" movies. Would have been better if he had been a widow, and that's not much better. The cinematography was par to a Hallmark presentation - slow moving, full of props, golden. There were the usual "loveable" characters - two gruff old brothers. The reason I gave this movie a 2 instead of lower is because of the performances of these two old fellows and the best performance of all the actors - the Native American young woman, pregnant, and dealing with some tough issues. The teachers, boring. The other students, boring. The old lady who dies, well, not so boring but definitely too stereo-typical (even more so than the old brothers). The kids are cute, as kids tend to be. . With made-for-tv movies that have slid down the slippery slope to devolve into this washed out stuff, no wonder I belong to a generation that is jaded and cynical. Writers and directors, wise up.
  • For a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, I was very disappointed. It wasn't up to par w/the other movies Hallmark produces. I felt there was a lack of character development & too many stones were left unturned. I felt like the viewer had to "assume" things about the storyline. There never was a clear explanation of details, which could have been pertinent to a good plot. Speaking of plot, there were just too many rollercoasters of storylines running throughout the movie; which led to an unanswered, unexplained end to the movie. I felt like there should have been "more". Lastly, I don't think the title of the movie had any relevance to the movie @ all.