Back in 2015, a TV film called Away and Back aired, and with an impressive leading cast, too!
Away and Back (2015) Hallmark Hall of Fame Review
Jack Peterson (Jason Lee) is a simple man who works hard and tries to raise his three kids to the best of his ability. Eldest Stretch (Connor Paton) competes in motocross and is on the cusp of driving (albeit not well); Kyle (Jaren Lewison) is the middle child who must always decide which of his siblings to side with; and then there is ten-year-old Frankie (Maggie Elizabeth Jones).
Frankie is a spitfire, fearless tomboy whose latest project is the eggs of motherless trumpeter swans. Enter Ginny Newson (Minka Kelly), an expert in the migration of birds and specifically the trumpeter swans. As these people work together to save these creatures, life begins to open up again for these hurting souls, and new bonds begin to heal hearts who need saving.
Despite owning this on DVD for quite some time, I never watched Away and Back. It’s been one I did want to see since I do like Jason Lee and Minka Kelly, so seeing it was something I had high hopes for when finally I did sit through the 90 minute film. While the film isn’t at all what I anticipated, it’s sweet.
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To begin with, the film leans towards a slower pace and as a result doesn’t “feel” as if it’s on solid footing. Secondly, the script or directing doesn’t always make it easy to take this seriously. There’s a few scenes that I just can’t “buy” because of how they come across, and as a result, this isn’t the kind of film I warm easily too. There are still some lovely moments though, primarily in the latter half of the film. (And there’s also a part of me that likes this more than its flaws.)
I love Ginny’s spunk and the way she integrates with these kids, particularly Kyle and Frankie. There’s a bit of resentment that flairs, but nothing too dramatic. Minka and Jason have a nice easy-going chemistry that while not dynamic in the way of passionate romances is still something to champion and enjoy; and it’s made sweeter given their circumstances and personalities. I’m far more invested in the human stories over that of the birds, and so for me, there was a bit too much of that, but I know many will find the details about them interesting.
While Away and Back isn’t up to the usual standards of this line of films, I do still enjoy it for what the story offers (a focus on family) and that it offers wholesome, solid storytelling. ♥
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‘Away and Back’: A Family Story in a Sweet Hallmark Drama. A review of the 2015 Hallmark drama with Jason Lee. #Movies #GoodMovies #Hallmark Click To Tweet