8 January 2015 | vchimpanzee
Very entertaining and touching
In Britain during the Recession that affected so much of the world late in the first decade of the 21st century, Zooey and her husband Alec want to have a child, but they can't. They might just have to consider adoption. Zooey runs a children's bookstore with her mother Diane, and Alec runs the toy company his late father founded 50 years earlier.
Eli is a 7-year-old boy who lives at Mrs. Lange's children's home. But he is more intelligent than most adults and quite mature, and he dresses like a successful businessman, though he does enjoy toys and other kid stuff. No one else appears to be able to see or hear him as he starts taking to the audience. Though Zooey and Alec are able to see him as they visit Mrs. Lange trying to become foster parents one of the children.
While they are told the application will take a while to process, Eli shows up at the couple's door with paperwork filled out and signed by Mrs. Lange. Zooey and Alec go back to Mrs. Lange to make sure everything is okay, and Mrs. Lange is being taken away unconscious in an ambulance. The one employee of the home who can help them doesn't really know about the process but looks at the paperwork and sees nothing wrong.
So Eli begins his life with Zooey and Alec. Among his many talents: he can cook.
Eli is too smart for school, so he refuses to go after the first day, but he can help Alec at his job.
The toy company is in trouble. Tom is very loyal, and he has been there 45 years. But the other workers are worried about being paid. Alec can't get a new loan and the house is already mortgaged, something he didn't tell Zooey about.
While in the park, Eli and Zooey meet a mystery man named Mr. Potts who knows what happened in 2007 (there is a room in their house Zooey refuses to let anyone into). Mr. Potts needs money and appreciates Zooey's help. Later, Alec is at the cemetery and Mr. Potts is there too, making sure the gravestones look good.
So will there be a Christmas miracle?
I should mention that even though the movie had a title related to Christmas when I saw it, it's not really about Christmas. The holiday does come near the end, though. And Zooey and Alec learn a lot from Eli.
Maurice Cole is outstanding. There is no way he is seven years old. He comes across as a short adult and shows a lot of intelligence and appeal.
Toni Collette is quite appealing, and when she does smile, it's a very nice smile. But she doesn't smile a lot.
The other lead actors do quite well also. In fact, everyone does. Even the employee at Legoland Amusement Park who is only there for the paycheck and cares nothing about his job.
It's a very worthwhile effort.