December 31, 2013.

This blog is now closed. After three years and 311 posts, I have decided to end this blog. I have enjoyed watching the films, reviewing them, and interacting with global readers.

If you are interested in contacting me, you can do so by commenting on any of the posts. The blog will remain live on the web.
Thank you to all the readers for your comments, ideas, and thoughts. They were helpful, stimulating, and enriching. This is Alene, signing off.

November 9, 2013

Gifted Hands (2009)

When it’s over, uplifting and inspiring, a positive film to watch with older children. Based on the true story of Ben Carson (Cuba Gooding, Jr.), a neurosurgeon who overcame great obstacles to become a leader in neuroscience research. The film was made for television cable, but looked and felt like a small independent film for the big screen. It almost did not feel like a feature film, but a documentary, where I got a vivid picture of the challenges one man underwent with the help of his mother and his faith in God. I liked how the story covered the various stages of Carson’s life, as a unimaginative and unintelligent child, to the sponge he grew into as he soaked knowledge from books, to the brilliant surgeon he had come to be known. The performances were very good by all the actors (children, too), capturing the family’s daily struggles. I particularly liked Kimberly Elise’s performance as Carson’s mom. I think she carried the character with grace, dignity, and strength, even when her character was in the darkest of places. More important, I loved the film's message – that if you work hard, apply yourself, and believe in yourself, you can reach your dreams. Of course, Carson’s success story was one in thousands, perhaps millions, but sometimes we need stories like this to give ourselves that bit of push to reach higher and to dream bigger.

My rating: 4 out of 5

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