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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Of course this isn't available on video...

10/10
Author: Brian Leonard (unclebrian@brianleonard.net) from Springfield, VA
13 November 2001

...because if it were more widely distributed, more people would be aware of the shattering effects of poverty and the dilemmas of the "working poor" in the USA. We can't have that, can we?

The film, as others have said, is a gripping and sad picture of a decline into destitution. Mare Winningham is terrific.

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

A very Hard-Hitting Film!

Author: ketchkev from Portland, Oregon
3 October 2003

I watched this movie on Lifetime about eight years ago, and it still left an impression on me even still today. The struggle with homelessness is not a fun one, for I know first hand. Mare Winningham gives and excellent and very, very sad performance in this film. It just seems that all the odds are against her, and she's left to make some very rash decisions. You just want so much to help people like this out in the time of need, but have to stand by as helpless as they are. This movie should be recommended as a standard for all to watch, as we are all one paycheck away from the shelter, or even the doorways in our streets. This should not be happening in the greatest country the world has ever known.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Effects of God Bless the Child live on

10/10
Author: eberkopec from United States
4 April 2006

This movie is still relevant after 18 years. The characters in the movie would face the same problems today. The movie drives home the point of how homelessness can happen and how hard it is to recover or break the cycle of poverty.

Not only does this movie show how someone can fall into homelessness and poverty and how that devastates a family, it actually inspired someone to DO something about homelessness.

An Ursuline sister, Margaret Scheetz, in Youngstown Ohio, saw the movie and was inspired to start a program for homeless women with children. The program, Beatitude House, provides transitional housing for homeless women while they pursue a full-time education. It also provides counseling, parenting programs, case management, group counseling and budgeting education.

The program started in 1991 with one apartment; it now has 24 apartments in Youngstown and 7 in Warren, Ohio. Beatitude House now includes an education and career preparation program for disadvantaged women, and has added a permanent supportive housing program for disabled homeless women or women who have disabled children. (More information is available at www.beatitudehouseonline.org.)

So, Thank You Mare Winningham, D. Michael Nemec (the writer), and everyone who produced or acted in this movie. Your work has truly changed lives.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Well done, non-preachy.

Author: capkronos (capkronos00@hotmail.com) from Ohio, USA
19 February 2002

I usually hate made-for-TV movies, but this one is excellent (yeah, and extremely depressing, but it's eye-opening). Mare Winningham is first-rate as a single mother caught in a cycle of homelessness and poverty with her young daughter after they're abandoned by the father and thrown out of their apartment. The scripter offers no easy way outs or fairy tale endings for these two and the film is surprisingly tough and real. It also does an admirable job illustrating how finding employment, a home and a sense of dignity are next to impossible if you're stuck out on the streets starting from scratch. It's really one of those movies with a most important, life-affirming message--don't for a second take what you have or the people in your life for granted. Harrowing stuff.

For the video inquiry--It was released on video (from WorldVision), but yeah, it's a b*tch to find. (I got my copy used at a video store).

Score: 9 out of 10.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A woman loses her husband, job and house, and tries to survive with her daughter. At the end she has to make a hard decision.

10/10
Author: Andre Engels (engels@win.tue.nl) from Eindhoven, the Netherlands
31 August 1998

A complaint against poverty. Even more gripping than its portrayal of the sad situation in which the woman finds herself is the hopelessness of it, as can for be heard in her remark 'without a house I cannot get a job and without a job I cannot get a house.' The movie provides no answers, but that is a strength more than a weakness, making the viewer even more aware of the seriousness of the problem at hand. It does make for a sad movie, though.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Heartbreaking movie

9/10
Author: capechick2730 from United States
29 January 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When I saw this movie I had a 3 year old and a 1 year old and my husband had just had a heart attack. This movie struck home for me. It made me realize that, for a large part of our population, homelessness is just a paycheck away.

The part where Mare Winningham has to sleep on a filthy bed at the shelter and lets her child sleep on top of her just to keep her as protected as possible was so sad. Mare is such an incredible actress, I can't figure out why she is not used more often. She brought such believability to this film.

The ending was so sad to me as a new mother that I couldn't stop crying. Hours later, I was still crying. And for so many, this is real, not just a movie which makes it even more sad.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Realistic portrayal of poverty in America

10/10
Author: Reginald D. Garrard from Camilla, GA
19 January 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Though the film is almost two decades old, it has not lost any of its bite: a riveting look at what it's really like to be poor in America. Mare Winningham plays a mother, struggling with constant unemployment, displaced lodging, and raising a precocious daughter (excellently played by Grace Johnston). Winningham, one of Hollywood's best (and underused) talents, displays a wonderful balance of pathos, determination, and warmth in a part that was deserving of an Emmy. A cut-above the average TV-movie, "God Bless the Child" is never condescending and really tugs at the heartstrings in its depiction of a single mother dealing with a system that appears to work against her.

The tear-inducing ending will remain with the viewer long after the film's credits have rolled.

The events of the recent past surrounding the treatment of victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita indicate that America needs to reassess how she sees her poor and downtrodden.

This film is a "must-see" for all!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

I have never forgotten this movie!

Author: Poetryangel2004
25 July 2004

I watched this movie so much as a kid. I have never forgotten it. It has made an everlasting impression in my mind. I am not quite sure how to find this movie again, but it was so touching. Mare Winningham portrayed a woman so much in love with her daughter she gave her up to someone who could better care for her and it was so touching. I cry every time i see this movie. I will never forget the struggles that family went through. It is nice to see the way people helped her the best they could. The man who gave out mac and chesse! I absolutely would recommend this movie to anyone and everyone. I'd like to thank the director for making a moving so touching and so unforgettable!

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

God Bless Mare Winningham

9/10
Author: Nozz from Israel
31 December 1999

I think there's no better actress out there than Mare Winningham. It seems that almost always she plays a victim, maybe because she's not jaw-dropping beautiful. But she's believable in every role, and in this one she takes you with her on a downward spiral where the only consolation is her own dogged innocence. Helps you realize, once more, that the people you don't stop to look at twice are each, no less than the striking ones, a complete human world.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

the American disease

Author: dutchtom1 from London
12 August 2005

The movie portrays the opposite of the American dream. Because for every great winner there are great losers, not because they deserve that, but because bad luck can strike anyone. And when just surviving becomes an impossible dream to achieve, that's when you know you're a goner. Homelessness is humiliating. It is more important that all citizens have homes and medical aid, than to be spoilt for choice, and become obese, sick with a third house and a yacht, while others have nothing. The Amercian dream should be providence for everyone, but the real nightmare is stark capitalism relentlessly leaving people out in the dark. This movie is incredibly touching and has a communistic message, countering the yuppie consensus of the Reagan era. It surpasses its format, eg, a TV movie. And surpasses most Hollywood dross. 10 out of 10

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