A teenage exile cons her approach into a pursuit as a caregiver for an autistic child in Janet Grillo’s drama.
The theme of autism is clearly dear to Janet Grillo’s heart. The mom of a child on a autistic spectrum, a filmmaker has formerly dealt with a theme in a Emmy Award-winning Autism: The Musical, that she executive produced, and her underline directorial debut, 2011’s Fly Away. Now, in partnership with screenwriter/co-producer Jennifer Eaton (the aunt of an autistic child herself), she delivers a relocating play Jack of a Red Hearts.
Cannily wakeful that audiences might be resistant to a theme matter, a film adds some amiable torment to a mix. The executive impression is teenagr Jack (AnneSophia Robb), a tough, exile waif who, in a unfortunate try to lift income to caring for her younger sister Coke (Sophia Anne Caruso, and no, I’m not creation these names up), brazenly talks herself into a pursuit as a caregiver for Glory (Taylor Richardson) a exceedingly autistic 11-year-old girl.
Assuming a temperament of a therapist named Donna, Jack is hired by Glory’s beleaguered parents, Kay (Famke Janssen) and Scott (Scott Cohen), whose attribute is commencement to ravel underneath a pressure. Kay is quite anxious to have a help, given she’s had to scapegoat her career to caring for her child. Less welcoming is Glory’s comparison hermit Robert (Israel Broussard), nonetheless he can’t assistance though be vehement about a new caregiver’s hotness.
Not surprisingly “Donna” has some-more than a few ungainly moments traffic with her charge, though her discerning meditative and travel smarts rescue her from innumerable mistakes. She starts to comfortable to a assignment, removing some tips from examination a film The Miracle Worker, and starts a indeterminate intrigue with Robert. She also finds herself fastening with Glory, who, notwithstanding such occasional lapses as erratic off to her favorite park, starts display signs of improvement.
The story moves along in sincerely predicted beats, including a unavoidable issue in that Jack’s dishonesty is exposed. But it’s effective nonetheless, interjection to a authentic-feeling depiction of a earthy and romantic fee of caring for an autistic child. We also get an educational discernment into a latter’s viewpoint around several sequences shot from Glory’s POV.
And a filmmakers seem to penchant a event to puncture some common misconceptions about autism, such as a idea that everybody with a condition is an simpleton savant. When Jack/Donna innocently asks Kay if her daughter is a math whiz, Kay wearily responds, “She’s not Rain Man.”
The performances are first-rate. Robb creates her character’s doubtful dishonesty plausible and even sympathetic; Janssen and Cohen simply elicit consolation as a unfortunate parents; and Richardson (currently personification a identical purpose in a off-Broadway play Smokefall) renders Glory’s hurdles with accurate believability.
Production: Sundial Pictures
Cast: AnnaSophia Robb, Famke Janssen, Scott Cohen, Israel Broussard, Taylor Richardson
Director/executive producer: Janet Grillo
Screenwriter: Jennifer Deaton
Producers: Lucy Mkerjee-Brown, Morgan White, Stefan Nowicki, Joey Carey
Director of photography: Hillary Spera
Production designer: Jimena Azula
Editor: Jim Curtis Mol
Costume designer: Mirren Gordon-Crozier
Composers: Danny Bensi, Saunder Jurriaans
Casting: Henry Russell Bergstein, Allison Estrin, Jennifer Smith, Tricia Wood, Deborah Aquila
Rated PG, 100 min.