November Christmas (2010 TV Movie)
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I've been watching Sam Elliott since he did Lifeguard 35 years ago. This just might be his best role yet. Mr. Sanford is a man anyone would want to have as a friend. The little girl who plays the central character is just charming. Sometimes a role like this can be overdone, and not believable, but this is definitely not the case here.
I think the best thing about the film, is its theme of redemption. Virtually all the characters are redeemed, and restored. It sets out to show the good in people and how life triumphs. It succeeds wonderfully.
The only minor negative is that by knowing the ultimate outcome in advance (which the film shows) it might lessen the emotional impact for some people. Than again, I can't think of anyone who would really want to see the outcome that you'd think would happen.
I hope they show this film again. It would make a perfect DVD for a family to rent, and not just at Christmastime, but any time of year.
15 years earlier, Tom and Beth are new in the small community. We never learn what work Tom does, but he and Beth spend a lot of time with their daughter Vanessa, who has been in the hospital a lot. Vanessa has no hair but a cheerful attitude for the most part. Her 4-year-old brother Gordon seems to accept what is going on better than many his age. Tom visits Jess' farm to buy vegetables, but he later shows up in the middle of summer wanting pumpkins. The reason: Tom is worried Vanessa might not survive to see Halloween.
Jess and his friend, who have both suffered losses in their lives, go to a relative of Jess who already has pumpkins, and they come back with a big load, and a possible second wife for Jess' friend.
Vanessa has a new friend, a teenage waitress who is a talented artist and aspiring writer, though right now she must work for her demanding uncle at his diner. Meanwhile, Beth is helping out with story time at the library, where Jess' wife Claire used to work and still volunteers some.
If Vanessa continues to go downhill, she also won't see Christmas. It just so happens Jess grows Christmas trees, and Tom goes to pick one out.
Jess is going through a lot of bitterness, but helping this family helps him a lot, and he becomes a kind and loving grandfather type.
Eventually the whole town knows about Vanessa's plight, and what happens next is truly a Christmas miracle.
Will Vanessa make it? I will say that the movie has a happy ending.
The story is great, and the holidays are celebrated just as one might expect--just at different times.
Everyone involved gives a great performance, but I believe Sam Elliott stands out from the group. If anyone gets an Emmy nomination, I believe it will be him.
Emily Alyn Lind certainly deserves something, though most likely she would be nominated only in a category that favors kids. Vanessa keeps her attitude positive so much of the time.
It was worthy of the name Hallmark Hall of Fame.
if this is not based on a real life situation I would hope that people in real life would would do something like this for someone suffering from cancer no matter their age but especially for a child.
I have Watched this movie a couple of times and every time it tugs at my heart and puts tears in my eyes.
as others have said you fall in love with all the characters and to the point you wish you could have taken part in the making of this movie.
I would suggest this move to everyone to watch this beautiful movie
I once read where he saw some parts that he had passed up on, then later thought that he could have done that...
I have always admired his work and felt that he could have/should have been a mega star, very much in the caliber of John Wayne, just in our era of time.
In my view, we do not have many actors in the caliber of our hero, John Wayne. Mr Elliot has stretched his acting legs many times, in different movies and different types of roles and he has excelled in each, as I expected.
In "November Christmas", Sam plays an aging neighbor to a family in crisis.This family in crisis, allows him to do a "do over" from a crisis in his past. This is something that he missed in his real life, so he gets to address that concept on screen. Sam personifies someone that is bitter from circumstances of the past, who transforms into a wonderful, Grandfatherly figure, with a new opportunity to right the past. He does just that, in grand fashion. It is saddening for me to understand what his age is, and to know that even tho he never attained the reputation of a John Wayne, He will always be a hero for me, and a truly grand actor, in my view.
The movie goes at a very slow pace, but that's dictated by the circumstances. Vanessa Marks is an 8-9 year old girl who is being treated for cancer. But many of the people in the small town her family has moved to are hurting from their pasts. Nearly every scene is packed with emotion. I won't say more about the plot, but note that there are several smaller stories built in this one movie. And, it's done quite well.
The cast all are excellent in their performances. Especially worth noting is Emily Alyn Lind who plays Vanessa.
A small community comes together to create special Halloween and Christmas moments several weeks early for Vanessa Marks, an 8-year- old girl with a life-threatening illness.
After the father quietly asks a neighboring farmer (Sam Elliott) about buying pumpkins - and later Christmas trees - the farmer figures out that the father is trying to speed up the holidays so that Vanessa will have one more Christmas!
To give anymore of the plot away would be a huge mistake. I will say this film captures everything in a realistic manner. All motivations from everyone seem "Realistic".
If you lost a child I think this film would be very hard to watch. However the film does show (Like In Real Life) how all of us hurt in someway! It also shows that at times "It Does Take A Village".
Have a tissue or two handy.
The only thing that I found wrong with the film was that it seemed as if they left us hanging on the story of the teenage writer who befriended the little girl. It would have been nice to know what happened to her in the future.
Now if I asked 10 people "What is One of the worse Christmas movie you have ever seen" I will get 10 different examples.
Now if I asked the same 10 people what is the best Christmas movie you ever seen chances are they will say "November Christmas" that is if they have seen it!
A father of a "Cancer stricken child" bumps up the holidays just to cheer up her child. By doing these the father inspires his town to mend fences and that "The Christmas Spirit" does not exclusive to December.
Not to be missed!
A Rhode Island community get together to help out the parents of a severely ill 8 year old girl. Sam Elliot is the curmudgeon who suffered a loss of a child some years earlier and recognises what John Corbett is going through and realise what he is up to.
Fearing the worse Corbett wants to give his daughter an early Halloween and Christmas in case she does not make it through to the end of the year. The small town rally round once they find about the little girl's condition.
The film is sentimental, light on plot but the direction is sensitive and the film is told in flash back which leads to an encouraging ending.