Do to life, time constraints, what have you, I haven’t done any movie or book reviews for a while. But, I will be doing one today as this little movie is unusual enough and off the beaten path enough it needs all the help it can get. Besides, it stars Jared Padalecki and since he is in part responsible for my OBSESSION with the TV show Supernatural, I want to do my part. And I wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t worth watching anyway. 😛

Premise: (Based on a True Story) Thomas Kinkade goes home with his brother for Christmas to find out all is not well in the town or at home. Already dealing with some dissatisfaction at the lack of direction his art is going in, Tom must now also deal with the failing health of his mentor and the coming unknown foreclosure on his mother’s home and more.

Stars: Jared Padalecki, Peter O’Toole, Aaron Ashmore, Ed Asner, Richard Burgi, Marcia Gay Harden (Loads and loads of familiar faces in this one!)

Review: As I stated above, this film is based on the real life experiences of famed artist Thomas Kinkade. While you may not recognize his name, you will definitely recognize his art. For years it has embodied winter, Christmas, and all other sorts of life settings always imbued with the soft tones of light.

The movie deals with a pivotal point of Mr. Kinkade’s life. One he wanted to share with us. This is not a young children’s family Christmas movie. This is more a slice of real life Christmas (though even real life can at times appear over the top) and so it is for a more mature audience. A great family film for teenagers and adults. There is some language and adult themes, so beware, just basically think of it as PG-13 and choose accordingly.

This story is about Mr. Kinkade, but also about his family, his mentor, his town. About the things we forget and shouldn’t, about those we can rely on, about making amends, making choices, but most of all remembering what is important — community, family, love.

If you have ever cried during a film, I suggest you keep some hankies handy. I was teary eyed about 90% of the time and even my hubby succumbed toward the end. A lot of acting gems in this film. Many totally unexpected and some very very subtle.

Jared does a great job, though I think if they’d given him a little more of Kinkade to work with, it could have been even better. (Found out later that they did!! Those scenes were all deleted. *sigh* Should have kept them in… Go Jared!)Peter O’Toole was fabulous. Richard Burgi had some utterly amazing moments, the best I’ve ever seen from him. Even the cliched roles, the types of people you normally expect to meet in large group setting/dynamics were done well, and some again with flaring moments that added a lot but if you blinked you might miss them. Many subtle little touches, giving the whole a depth you’d not expect from a first look.

This is a journey of discovery, not only for Mr. Kinkade but for all others involved. And though the road was hard and some were lost, the light found in the end and the people touched by it would carry them forward for the rest of their days. Sometimes it is the little things that change the world.

A truly touching film and an intimate revelation of what shaped Mr. Kinkade into the wondrous artist he becomes. A definite soon to be Christmas Classic.