The Carson McCullers' novel whom this movie is based on is very simple on its surface, but deeply it contains a stunning sadness and melancholy that the intelligent writer expresses perfectly.
It has characters whose lifes are normal without nothing special happening to them, but the deep feelings are there and the novel captures them in a very special way. There lies the greatness of the book.
But, ¿Is possible to translate this to the screen? Well, is not an easy job, but here we have an excellent and very faithful adaptation of the story of Frankie Addams with the same minimalism that characterizes the novel (sometimes it seems a play rather than a movie) and, of course, its same power. Is the story of Frankie (a wonderful Paquin), a tall, depressive, imaginative and sad 12 years-old girl who hopes to runaway from her village with her brother and his girlfriend (who are going to marry that summer). Meanwhile she spends that long and hot summer with the only company of Berenice (Woodard) and her cousin John Henry (Dunn).
The movie's great success is on the casting: this is the movie of Anna Paquin, who is so believable and superb as Frankie that ends becoming Frankie rather than playing her. To see Paquin dreaming of Alaska, hitting a soldier or not hearing what others say in her conversations is to see the Frankie of the novel; and to see Paquin suffering in the long scene of Woodard's monologue and in the ending is to suffer like when you're reading the book. There Frankie and her mind are the center of the story and in the movie the center becomes Paquin, with the same rage of Flora from "The Piano" and the same sadness and melancholy of Amy from "Fly Away Home".
Summarizing, an excellent TV-movie for those who admire the novel and Carson McCullers and for those who admire Anna Paquin, one of the most talented young actresses actually.
Another coming-of-age movie starring Anna Paquin, for more info see...
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