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10-year-old Harriet dreams of leaving her home, where she doesn't feel she's needed by her mother and sister Gwen. When her mother dies in a car accident, she really starts to make plans for leaving and she finally does so together with her childlike (mentally ill) friend Ricky. Written by
Harriet's legs change position from shot to shot when she's coloring on the floor. See more »
My mother lived in one world. I was always looking for another.
Once I tried to squeeze down a rabbit hole.
[fire department arriving]
Then I tried digging all the way to China.
That's when I learned a mysterious electric force protected the center of the Earth. Then I tried to make the carpet from the front hall fly me to Persia.
I always wish for the same two things, which are really only one thing. I want something magical to happen to me. And I wanted my mother to ...
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Digging to China is an unpretentious little movie. No great moral lessons are promoted here. It plays out within the limited area of a small resort motel, an old barn, the surrounding woods and streams, an elementary school, the connecting highways, a deserted caboose, and a school bus - with brief side trips to a cemetery and a hospital. No profound messages are involved; it doesn't probe the depths of the human condition. It's merely the story of the friendship between ten-year-old Harriet, a bright, imaginative loner, and Ricky, a man with special learning and behavioral handicaps. The relationship grows as each faces a major emotional life adjustment.
For a little movie, Digging to China is loaded with fantastic, deeply affecting, unforgetable images.
Tim Hutton is to be congratulated for putting this simple story together as a, yes, classic movie. Mary Stuart Masterson, quite possibly the most under-rated actress of our time, brings dignity to the evolving character of Gwen, who is determined to learn her new responsibilities. Kevin Bacon reads the part of the hurting Ricky with great sensitivity.
By its nature, the whole movie rides on the tiny shoulders of Evan Rachel Wood, and she carries it flawlessly. She can display a range of emotions many more experienced actors would kill for. In a few short minutes Miss Wood's features can slide subtly from questioning, to hopefully anxious, to happy, to forlorn - a masterpiece of acting.
Sensitive viewers will feel better for seeing it.
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