Every once in a great while a film, with low expectations (and the subject of ridicule), comes along. Sometimes they’re great, and sometimes they’re not. October Baby embodies qualities of heart and beauty, and the result is as near to perfection as cinema may ever see.
October Baby (2012) Film Review
As the only child of loving parents (John Schneider, Jennifer Price), Hannah (Rachel Hendrix) enjoys a happy childhood. Not even Hannah’s health challenges stop her from being a happy girl. Now as a nineteen-year-old, Hannah’s struggles are not of the body but emotional. Instead of sharing her feelings, Hannah keeps them in a journal. All of this causes her health to again decline and she must go into the hospital. Tests reveal that her many diagnose relate.‘OCTOBER BABY’ (2011) #FWarchives Click To Tweet
Worried that his daughter is on the brink of self-destruction, Jacob breaks the news to Hannah that she’s adopted, but also that she’s the product of a failed abortion. Upset that her father uses and shares her journal with her doctor, Hannah feels betrayed. The one person still waiting to help is her childhood friend, Jason (Jason Burkey). When he invites her to join his friends on their spring break road trip, Hannah takes the chance hoping that a stop along the way will set her heart at ease.
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I cannot recount the number of people in my blog community who praised this little movie. It seems again I’m the last person to see it, only this time, the reason is my theater never shows it. Not unlike, Bella, this is a pro-life message that has a deep, poignant impact; and one we won’t soon forget. It does move slowly, taking its time to reach its pinnacle. Though at the time, it can be hard to watch something like this, .in retrospect, I think that is the only way to tell this kind of story. It should awaken us and break our heart in equal measures. Its crowing jewel is the ability to hook the audience without cheap gimmicks.
Despite her being a newcomer, Rachel Hendrix is good. Being the lead character and the one the audience is asked to sympathize with, it is always a risk to cast a new face, here it pays off. Every scene Rachel is in does nothing but prove this role belongs to her. Likewise, this on-screen father-daughter duo is touching. Schneider and Hendrix have beautiful chemistry and I adore so many of their scenes together. All around, this film is well produced, directed and acted.
Unlike most Hollywood productions, there’s meaning and purpose. The characters are likable though and yet, not everything ties up prettily at the end. Of course, the script does work through everything, and though it leaves you with a smile, it doesn’t mean that all of the sudden everyone’s problems erase. If the entire movie, or most specifically the final fifteen minutes, doesn’t break your heart and inspire you, I don’t know what will. (Pay particular attention to the staircase scene, as well as the last scene.) Even if not every one of us is personally affected by the message of choosing to end a life, the film resonates with just as poignant of a message that life is precious.
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You can find October Baby on Amazon Video via DVD
Content: there is some mature talk about abortion but nothing graphic. Hannah states she’s never “been” with a guy and awkwardly discusses it with Jason while stomping out of the room they are sharing [he’s on the floor]. Brief implications suggest a teen contemplated suicide though denial is adamant. The film is PG13.