A look at the inspiration behind Thomas Kinkade's painting The Christmas Cottage, and how the artist was motivated to begin his career after discovering his mother was in danger of losing their family home.
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Candace Cameron Bure,
Necessity is the mother of invention. In the weeks leading up to Christmas 1977, Maryanne Kinkade has fallen behind in her mortgage payments and is about to lose her small house in Placerville, a town in California's gold country in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Her son Thom, who attends art school and is in his 20s, determines to make the transition from amateur to professional painter to help save the family's home. He seeks advice from an aging mentor. Written by
Thomas Kinkade's Home for Christmas is an old fashioned film, yes. It fits very well with Kinkade's art; indeed, the film is a wise nod to his magical paintings. Much like his work it can draw cynics and negative, self-proclaimed pundits like a magnet draws iron filings. The story is essentially the inspiration behind Kinkade's central work and his raison d'être how it all came to be. For many of us, especially those puzzled by the scribbling and bizarre compositions that pass for abstract art work that must come while the artist has his tongue deeply embedded into his cheek, and further, work that can be analyzed and described in 1,000 different ways, each a product of the imagination the charm of the alternative Kinkade depictions of the dream-like reality of a place where the heart wants to be is a respite and a place for us to rest in this weary, war-torn world of endless crime and violence.
As a filmmaker and writer of some note I found the production a bit uneven but then there were moments that were spot-on and in the balance the film succeeds very well. The cast is fine, the production values are very acceptable and the story, which could have used a bit more imagination and forward thrust, ends well and succeeds to give the film its reason for being.
The story of how Thomas Kinkade obtained his gift is fine but there's a far more salient, exciting and bigger story to be told because the man happens to be one of the most successful creative commercial artists ever produced by Americana. We look forward to that story on film, perhaps with a bigger budget, more exciting production values and a stronger script. There is nothing that pleases the American (and perhaps to a greater degree today) world audiences like the story of success up from the bottom rung of the ladder.
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