12 February 2009 | Kinravip
Powerful drama; Rosie's best work EVER.
I just came from an advance screening (this film will air on Lifetime on 2/28/09) and recommend this film highly.
This film follows the story of America, a 17-year-old boy who was part of the foster-care system, but now is housed in a state-run residential facility.
Rosie O'Donnell plays the counselor who tries to break through America's walls enough for him to trust her with the secret burden he carries.
Rosie's performance was understated and brilliant and Ruby Dee is magnificent as Mrs. Harper, the grandmotherly source of the little bit of love that America has ever known.
The other residents of the facility also turn in wonderful performances-- archetypes but not stereotypes.
The young man cast as America had never acted before. After seeing dozens of young actors, Rosie found him in a diner TWO DAYS before principal photography was set to begin. What a find.
Though the horrors of America's past are telegraphed early via dissociative flashes of memory and images of Mount Everest (America's 'quiet place'), sickened gasps could still be heard in the audience as the events unfold, and most of the crowd had shed tears before the closing credits rolled.
If you have any association with the foster-care system, you MUST see this film. If you are unaware of the statistics, the epilogue of the film will educate you-- and break your heart.
I smell Emmys.