Blessing (1994) Poster


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A down-to-earth, honest film
Brian27 February 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Contains Spoiler!!! I'm not from Wisconsin, but I watched the credits roll and saw thanks to that state, so I'm guessing it was filmed there.

It's evident this is a low-budget film, but I wouldn't call it B-grade, and I never found the acting a distraction. I think they all did well.

It is a sad movie. I found the ending believable and satisfying. This is not to say it was "happy."

My only criticism is: I didn't find the turnaround of the parents, their sudden reasonableness after the shooting on the grain-tower, quite believable. (Quite frankly I expected something else to happen up there, it's okay it didn't.) When they came down from the tower it's as if three years of therapy had suddenly kicked in, only they hadn't been to any therapy.

I suppose a MORE believable ending would've been even more unpleasant though.

A bleak but honest film, worth your time.
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Honest, True-to-Life Characters...!!!
olsonmary11 July 2007
Watched "Blessing" with my husband a few weeks ago.  This film has a terrific feel and incredible honesty!  It shows us characters at their worst and at their best without maneuvering us into judging them.  These are real people -- not monsters or saints, just human beings.

Set on a dairy farm in Wisconsin, the film's story focuses on Randi, a 20-something daughter who is struggling to find a way to leave the famlily farm.  She's stopped by her devotion to Clovis, her younger brother, as well as her jealous mother and an over-worked father. When Randi meets Lyle, the local milk truck driver and amateur astrologer, she finally decides to leave, a decision that tears the family apart.

As it's a film about small town America and the question of freedom vs. family that reminded me of "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" -- but this film is a less quirky, more true-to-life portrayal.

"Blessing" is hopeful, real and leaves you with the sense that you've learned something about familes, life, and personal triumph.
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Not the most uplifting film ever made...
jfriedmn1 January 2001
As a Wisconsinite--and one who has seen rural Wisconsin's lush beauty--I was pretty darn depressed by this film. (Of course it didn't help that in the opening scene, they are listening to Milwaukee radio; if you can get Milwaukee radio in Wisconsin, honey, you ain't rural!) The acting is spotty, with the best efforts coming from the actors playing the parents; they accurately portray the twin results of isolation and hopelessness (physical and mental decay).

The story itself is good, overall, and is full of realistic details. An isolated farm family deals with the pain that comes from living on a failing farm, with little hope for its future or that of the family, unless one of the children can be counted on to take over the farm. The parents snipe at each other and smoke incessantly; the mother prays to win the lottery; the father drinks and beats whoever is in range, and they all milk cows first thing in the morning, every single morning. The teenage daughter counts on leaving, eventually, when her parents give her the money they owe her for helping on the farm; in reality she feels she can't leave her younger brother alone in the family.

A handsome milkman strikes up a friendship with the daughter. He isn't glamorized, but it's made clear that he is a positive influence in her life and in her brother's. He wants to take her away (despite the fact that he tells everyone he has a wife and daughter back east). The real drama takes place within the family; he is only incidental, providing the opportunity for things to come to a head between the daughter and her father. A predictable and anticlimactic ending did not really satisfy me or answer any questions.

The cinematography is stark and monochromatic, giving the unfortunate impression that Wisconsin is cold, muddy, and dead (but not snowy) all year round. If it was shot in Wisconsin, I'd like to know what month of the year they shot the outdoor scenes, that they were able to exclude sunshine, green growth, AND snow. Sounds more like Indiana to me...

In sum: an interesting movie, with which much more could have been done. Forgettable despite an accurate portrayal of an element of American society that we see too seldom.
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