I just watched two great movies each with a young man at their heart. Both boys are dealing with difficult challenges.
The 2020 movie Summerland takes place during World War II. At its heart is a schoolboy named Frank who has been evacuated from London to escape the bombings there. He misses his parents terribly and is worried about his father who is an airforce pilot. Frank has been sent to live in a small seaside village with a cynical and self-absorbed writer named Alice Lamb who takes no delight in having a child underfoot while she pursues her scholarly interests in myth and magic. Of course the charming Frank eventually charms his cantankerous hostess and he transforms Alice into a person she had forgotten she could be.
Cinematically beautiful storytelling takes us back into Alice’s past to help us understand her transformation in a new light. Although this movie is certainly about Frank, it is really more about how Frank changes Alice. This film is a feast for the eyes and the heart. Even critics who call out its convenient plot twist near the end admit the movie tugged at their heartstrings in ways they hadn’t expected.
The 2017 movie The Children Act is about a court case. At its heart is a 17-year-old boy named Adam who has leukemia. Doctors insist Adam needs a blood transfusion or he will die. His parents are Jehovah’s Witnesses and don’t want him to have the transfusion because it goes against their religious beliefs. Enter Judge Fiona Maye who must decide whether the hospital can provide treatment to Adam against his parent’s wishes. In order to make her final decision, Fiona goes to visit Adam in the hospital and talk to him personally.
The meeting sparks a friendship that Adam desperately wants to pursue once he recovers. Fiona whose personal life is a mess and who is totally absorbed in her work resists. Eventually, however, Adam manages to break through the wall around Fiona’s mind and heart, and in doing so he changes her in ways she couldn’t have imagined. This movie has some brilliant acting by Emma Thompson and Stanley Tucci.
I can recommend both of these films. Children have the power to change the adults around them. Both Summerland and The Children Act make that point in a convincing way.
Posts about other movies with children at their heart……