The main problem with "Handcart" (2002) is that it aspires to be epic but it has neither the budget nor the script. Nor does it have adequate acting. The director, Kels Goodman, wanted to make an epic film; in fact, on the extras that come with the DVD he explains the decision to shoot in widescreen. Unfortunately the epic size of the screen only reinforces how little there is of interest to see. Shooting in the standard academy frame would have benefited the film by hiding the lack of budget and talent. My mom summed up the problems with the film best when she said, "After watching the film, you just don't feel like the pioneers suffered all that much." Goodman does show some snow and people shivering, but you don't really feel like this whole handcart business was much more than a really hard boy scout outing. Again, the smaller frame may have hidden the lack of deep snow and ice. While the film is a good effort, it's little more than an effort and will remain at the bottom of my list of the recent spate of Mormon films.
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