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Upstanding citizen Ed Smart lives happily with his wife and five children in Salt Lake City. Until youngest daughter Mary Katherine is the traumatized sole witness to the kidnapping from their home of sister Elisabeth. After treating Ed and eldest Charles as prime suspects for statistics' sake, undermining initially wide community support, they concentrate on jailed pedophile Richard Ricci. For years, the investigation goes nowhere, even after if becomes clear Ricci is probably Innocent. The lunatic kidnapper, homeless handyman turned mini-sect prophet 'Emmanuel', and his blindly-devoted airhead wife meanwhile indoctrinates 'adopted, chosen' Elisabeth, but fate and his alcohol demon bring him to the footlights. Written by
The attempted kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart's cousin was in fact neither a coincidence nor a practical joke. Though unexplained in the film, Elizabeth often talked about her close relationship with her cousin, Olivia Wright, to her captors, inadvertently telling them where she lived and that she was close to her in age. Brian Mitchell, as part of his plan to take multiple wives, decided that Olivia would be his next victim, but the kidnapping attempt was unsuccessful when the family was awakened by the noise, causing Mitchell to flee the scene. See more »
When Elizabeth is shown playing the harp it is very obvious that she isn't actually playing, as the movements of her fingers do not match the soundtrack. See more »
During the scene where a bunch of people in orange vests are gearing up to search for Elizabeth, if you see some extra who's knocking around & making a total spectacle of himself, why that would be me.
Aside from me completely ruining that scene, this was a decent movie. It's somewhat toned-down, family friendly and safe, but that doesn't stop it from being engaging throughout. It doesn't really touch on the controversial gossip behind the story (such as Elizabeth's sexual abuse or the family's manipulation of the system), but instead it focuses on the core story of a family that refuses to give up its search for their missing daughter. Certain parts are dramatic and very well done. The insanity of the abductor is particularly chilling. But the overall spirit of the film is one of optimism & strength which is always a good thing to be reminded of.
Other films about a parent's relentless search for a missing child are "Changeling" (2008) and "Stolen" (2009), both of which I recommend. I wasn't in those, so don't worry about me ruining any of the scenes.
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