** Papa’s Angels (2000)

Bakula Productions Inc, Columbia Broadcasting System, Marian Rees Associates

Scott Bakula, Cynthia Nixon, Eva Marie Saint, Lachlan Murdoch, Jenny-Lynn Hutcheson, Kimberley Warnat, Kirsten Bishop,  Brandon James Olson, Shane Meier, Pamela Johnson

Grins Jenkins is a Arkansas furniture maker with 5 kids.  Grins is a happy man, and enjoys playing the banjo, dancing, and mostly loving and caring for his family.  He’s the life of the party.  Suddenly Sharon (Cynthia Nixon) get very ill.  When it’s determined it’s tuberculosis, she is sent away to a hospital.  Grins builds a sun porch closed in glass for her, but she grows weaker and dies as does Grins joy in life.  He turns bitter and starts drinking and forbids the kids to celebrate Christmas in his house.  When Christmas arrives, his older boy refuses to let his little brother miss the Christmas dream and pushes against Grins wishes to have a Christmas of sorts after all.  Miracles happen, and the family is brought back together again.

This is a very sad but touching story of a backwoods family and their struggles to survive.  Then when this tragedy strikes, there is little hope of redemption.  This movie addresses some of the beliefs the Irish immigrants brought with them to the Ozarks when they arrived and how they kept these beliefs alive.  If you’ve heard of the tradition of a yule log, this movie will bring home why it’s important to some folks.  This is a film that will tug at the heartstrings and is a very well done film.  Both Scott and Cynthia bring a lot to their roles, and the rocky relationship between Cynthia’s character and Eva Marie Saint who is the grandmother to these kids is also very enlightening.  I highly recommend this film.

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** Papa's Angels (2000), 3.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

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