Kathy Bates is likably feisty portraying a widow with six kids who struggles to give her family a decent life in 1962 Idaho. Well-intentioned family film is hurt overall by a corny narration, episodic story structure and plot contrivances. The performances, however, are quite strong, particularly by Edward Furlong as the eldest of Bates' children. Tony Bill directed with compassion (he's a sentimentalist at heart) but many of his big scenes go from gritty to gooey in record time. Not very memorable, and not a great showcase for Kathy Bates' versatility as an actress, but still a decent film that will probably play better on television than it did in theaters. ** from ****
The New Yorker magazine–we can trust them, can't we?!–reviewed this movie as the true story written by Duncan, who is the screenwriter–you can read the review at the New Yorker site. Anyone who sees it will want to believe that it is true. Regardless, for any Kathy Bates fan,this is a must-see. The dry wit and honesty of the 60's dialogue is simultaneously nostalgic and refreshing. For anyone from a large family in the early 60s, scenes will bring back memories that will delight and disgust–like mixing vats of egg salad in the Miracle Whip jar. Kathy Bates shines as always, but every actor in this holds their own–even the children. Watch it–you'll love it.
This is a heart wrenching tale about a single mom trying her best to provide for her family. Kathy Bates is outstanding in her portrayal of a hard scrabble mom, down on her luck, who tries to start over and provide a home for her kids. I can't say enough about her performance.This family goes through some really difficult times, so this isn't necessarily a feel good movie, although there are some inspiring moments. Just when you think things can't get any worse for this family, it does. My heart just broke.I think this movie does a great job if it causes us to take better notice of those around us who are in need – and do what we can to help them. It becomes difficult, if you run into a women like portrayed here, that is too proud to accept "handouts". But this movie is also inspiring in that it is a great example of the determination of the human spirit and what someone can do in this country if they make up their mind to be somebody and provide a better life fo…
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