Cody, a little girl abandoned by her mother and raised by her aunt, a nurse, is kidnapped. The girl's guardian, aided by an FBI agent, learn that Cody has supernatural abilities and the abductees are a Satanic cult wanting to harness her abilities.
Omens and concepts of good vs. evil have no place in Maggie O'Connor's well-ordered, practical universe. Her life revolves around her job as a nurse at a busy New York hospital, until one rainy night, her sister Jenna abandons her newborn, autistic daughter at her home. Maggie takes the baby in, and she becomes the daughter she never had. Six years later Jenna suddenly re-appears with a mysterious new husband, Eric, and abducts Cody. Despite the fact that Maggie has no legal rights to Cody, FBI agent John Travis, an expert in ritual homicide and occult-related crime, takes up her cause when he realizes that Cody shares the same birth date as several other recently missing children. The little girl, it soon becomes clear, is more than simply "special." She manifests extraordinary powers that the forces of evil have waited centuries to control, and her abduction sparks a clash between the soldiers of good and evil that can only be resolved, in the end, by the strength of one small child... Written by
According to a March 1, 1999 Variety magazine article, in the script as originally written Cody was Maggie's autistic granddaughter who was abandoned by her drug-addicted mother. Since Kim Basinger was the mother of a young daughter in real life, she seemed too young to play a grandmother, so her character was changed to the child's aunt. See more »
During scene when Maggie is at the front desk of a New York police station, a form with the word "Ontario" and its provincial emblem at the top appear in a brief close-up of the desk. See more »
Woman on Bus:
Did ya see it yet, darlin'?
Woman on Bus:
Star of Yakov. What they be callin' the Christmas star. Ain't been seen since Bethlehem. And now it's here.
Woman on Bus:
Oh, yes. It's very nice. It's a good sign for all good people. Means someone special come from God. What do ya think 'bout that?
I don't know, I - I'm not sure I believe in that king of thing.
Woman on Bus:
Oh, that don't matter. It's there if you believe or not believe. It don't care.
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The Equinox of the Gods: Bless the Child for she shall relinquish the Curse of Man.
The devil resides in New York City and from the moment this film begins, we see exactly where this film is going. As the opening credits roll, its wonderful atmospheric start with its close-up night time shots of New York's gargoyles brings back memories of the great vampire movie Queen of the Damned (2002) and its visual introduction to its narrative.
With the arrival of The Star of Yacov, better known as The Christmas Star, once more in some two thousand years, we see childless Maggie O'Connor (Kim Basinger) taking on her younger sisters new born baby Cody, as Cody is dumped on her door step, this elder sister, this wise mature woman and now surrogate mother takes on full responsibility. Myth has it too that Saint Margaret the Virgin is known to be the Patron Saint of Pregnancy, and who, as legend would have it, was brought up by a nurse after her father disowned her, and having once met with the devil, with him in the form of a dragon. Irony and coincidence perhaps for both, considering her name being Maggie and her inability to have children and baby Cody's circumstance.
Dealing with this child and her seemingly autistic state, autism being a condition that is caused by a disorder that prevents the brain developing properly, this in turn can impair interaction both socially and emotionally. It isn't until she reaches six years of age that Maggie's worries slowly turn into fears of what exactly is wrong with this exceptional child. There are more than just physical and mental states at play here that are more than concerning and enlightening. Maggie's doubts and fears are soon to be tested, to and far beyond the boundaries of human restraint.
Bless the Child uses fables and myth to bring old legends to contemporary settings. With the killing of the innocent children to flush out the Prophecy, the way in which we see this being done is very subtle and coaxing, if a little disturbing, bringing an uncomfortable reality that something sinister, something malevolent, something lurking in the shadows and something extremely evil is all to ready to pounce. Here lies the winning formula, the evil that we see is not so much dark forces of the underworld, but be warned, they exist here too, it is more the evil of man and his willingness to be lead and be controlled by them. Man against man, sin against morality and the age-old battle of Light against the Darkness. We see Eric Stark and his followers taking parallel lines in the similar vain as the real life Satan and occult master Aleister "The Beast" Crowley (1875 - 1947), founder of The Golden Dawn, and once labelled "The Wickedest Man in the World". With Eric Stark renaming his cult The New Dawn Foundation, it is he who most certainly carries this trade of old evils and new Beasts to a tee. English born Rufus Sewell plays Stark with convincing zeal, with both phoney exterior compassion and charm to literally devil-may-care cold indifference, intermingling both persona's well enough to know that we are dealing with more than just the basic human traits that we see, hear and deal with in life. Evil, as it seems holds no bounds.
Kim Basinger and Holliston Coleman (born 1992) bond very well, and a great performance as surrogate mother, she plays her role with devotion and with an honest and convincing feel. With just three years after winning her Best Actress in a Supporting Role for L.A. Confidential, this isn't Ms. Basinger going down a peg but raising the stakes in this thriller horror movie genre. Her integrity is most certainly kept in tact, and this is with the assistance of one Chuck Russell, director of A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987), The Blob (1988), The Mask (1994) and The Scorpion King (2002). A fine team they make, and as with the gelling of the two leading ladies, it is his fine work in crafting young Holliston Coleman to a standard of high-end child acting. Expect to see more of this young girl. Especially, if she were to take the good advice from the ever professional and independently versatile actress Christina Ricci as the heroin addict Cheri Post, which is always a pleasure to see her working.
Bless the child also has its own parallels too, and lends itself to the likes of The Omen (1976), The Exorcist (1973) and the 1968 Roman Polanski film Rosemary's Baby, where we see children as axis of evils', Bless the Child sees the innocence and purity that is The Child; untainted and undemanding. Thus bearing the special gift of Life and the blessing of Divinity, sometimes disturbing, but slight, and at times touching, but never over demanding and horrific, which sets this movie of as being different and a little unique.
With moderate violence and with the help of a little CGI, a script that fights its own ground when in the amphitheatres of right and wrong, excellent and well cast, we can then be assured that Bless the Child most certainly has not been cursed.
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