Jack of The Red Hearts finally had it's long awaited debut tonight on Lifetime. The film, directed by Janet Grillo and written by Jennifer Deaton, is about a young girl named Jack (AnnaSophia Robb) who cons her way into the home of young autistic girl (Taylor Richardson) as her new live-in companion. Although at first her only intention is to scam the parents (Famke Janssen and Scott Cohen) she eventually steps comfortably into her role as the girl's caretaker, while forming a close bond with the girl's mother, father, and older brother (Israel Broussard).Not signed in
Intially, it's easy to cast off any film originating on Lifetime, especially with their cheesy and oftentimes campy reputation. However, this was in no way the case with tonight's splendid rarity.
The story and direction, coming off of obvious personal experiences with children born on the Autism spectrum, felt more real and more in depth than any display I'd ever seen in any film before. As a person who knows first hand what it means to live, deal with, and love a child with Autism, the display shown in this magnificent film touched my heart and opened my eyes even more to the very real struggle and strength of so many families all over the world.Not signed in
The performances, especially those of Janssen and Robb, are what can only be described as Emmy-worthy. AnnaSophia Robb's transition from Jack the con-artist to Jack the companion was one of her finest performances to date, the obvious dedication she put forth with this role was shown clear as day. And to her, I applaud and bow my head in utter and complete respect for not taking for granted what it really means to be a champion for a child with Autism.Not signed in
As far as Janssen is concerned, she touched every part of my heart and soul. She moved me in ways I haven't seen her do in years, possibly bringing what can also be called one of her finest performances to date. Kay became the mother I'd seen so many times in my life with several close family members and their beautifully unique children. I praise her performance with the highest possible grade imaginable.
There are so many words I can use to describe exactly how I feel after having watched this film, but the ones that come strongest to mind are simply: Thank you. Thank you to Janet Grillo, to Jennifer Deaton, AnnaSophia Robb, Famke Janssen, Taylor Richardson, Scott Cohen, and Israel Broussard. Thank you for making the greatest attempt to show the world that with just a little more understanding, children and adults with Autism can be so much more than what they seem.