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Left me with a smile on my face and a tear in my eye
I attended the International Premiere of "Blessed" at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival. Many of my favorite films have come from Australia, so I had high hopes going into "Blessed," and was not disappointed. This is just the kind of film I look for -- a sweet little gem that will make you laugh and cry.
"Blessed" follows five mothers and seven kids -- three boys and four girls -- aged 14-18, as they wander the streets after having run away or been abandoned by their parents. Left to fend for themselves, each teen's plight is poignantly portrayed by a talented young group of Australian actors culled from thousands. Mostly unknowns, I did recognize the terrific Harrison Gilbertson as Daniel, who starred in "Accidents Happen," one of favorites from this year's Tribeca Film Festival. The mothers are appropriately anguished at the apparent loss of their loved ones, not knowing whether or not they'll ever come home. The vulnerable teens fall prey to their own as well as others' desires, and there are enough twists and turns to add additional layers to an already compelling set of stories. "Blessed" left me with a smile on my face and a tear in my eye. It's a superb character-driven study of the bond between mothers and children.
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