Monday, March 06, 2006

Dear Frankie

Dear Frankie, rated PG-13 for language.

Frankie, age nine, his mother Lizzie and his grandmother frequently move; this most recent time finds them in a seaside Scottish town. Frankie doesn't remember his father, who works on a ship, the HMS Accra, but maintains a relationship with his son through letters. What Frankie doesn't know is that his father isn't on the ship and isn't writing the letters; it's his mother. But it turns out that the Accra is a real ship, coming to town, and Frankie is excited to finally get to see his father.

His mother has a choice: tell her son the truth. Or hire a stranger to pretend to be Frankie's dad. She hires a stranger.

The good: a wonderful film. Quiet, soft -- not an American film. Meaning, it's enough to have the family drama and the interactions between Lizzie, Frankie and the stranger. There's no Big Crime Caper or Kidnapping or Secret Spies or any of the other "big" plots that American movies tend to throw into the mix, because they don't get that a movie can stand alone without the Big Splashy Thing. (Case in point: compare Ghost to Truly, Madly, Deeply.)

This is about what a mother will do to protect her child; to communicate with her child; will sacrifice for her child.

It's about how sometimes, a person has to stop running and hiding. It's about when honesty is good; and when it's not. It's about connections between people.

And it's a love story, the love between a parent and a child.

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