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Janice Trimble (Margo Martindale), a middle aged woman, shows up at the
doorstep of a house in a rich neighbourhood and starts to attack the
person who opens her, 21 year old Paige, initially with a handgun, and
after it jams with whatever she can find, and she won't relent until Paige
is dead. But ... why?
Turns out Paige has accused her son of raping her.
Turns out Janice's son Jacob (Adam Scarimbolo) is 26 years old and
mentally challenged. Since he has suffered from oxygen deprivation at age
13 and has been in a coma for a month, he has been on the intellectual
stage of a little child. He doesn't speak, but he seems to understand most
things. For all the years, Janice has taken care of Jacob, and she has
loved him and adored him - it just stands to reason if love and adoration
have been enough for a boy in his condition - and she has resisted all
attempts to lock him away in a mental institution. Only, of late, taking
care of Jacob has become more and more of a strain to her, simply because
she isn't the youngest anymore and she needs a private life away from
Jacob - especially now that she has met Charles (Jim Dougherty), a man she
feels drawn to and who feels drawn to her ... but who doesn't exactly
share her adoration for her son. So Janice has hired Paige, a young
student majoring in sociology, to take care of her boy a couple of hours a
Paige and Jacob seem to hit it off right from the start, he
takes to her almost immediately, and he starts to care for him more than
anything her upper class life, where she was pretty much locked away in a
gold cage, has offered her so far. But there's one thing that worries her.
Every day when she puts him to bed, she sees new bruises on his body. Her
first conclusion is abuse, and that's where the problems start ...
here to open the Spoiler Pop-up!
could have been terrible! The plot almost seems to suggest a heavily
opinionated made-for-TV drama with a strong (yet misguided) message, an
emphasis on conservative values, over-simplified solutions to complex
problems, and of course lots of women hugging one another.
is none of this. Instead, the complex problem at the center of the film is
treated with an equally complex approach that doesn't shy away from taking
its story apart and putting it together out of chronological order (but
still making narrative sense) and telling the same scenes from different
points of view. And the film reserves itself the right to remain
non-judgemental throughout (even if it time and again tricks you into
thinking a certain way only to blast that train of thought later on). And
while the direction remains a tad bland throughout, the ensemble cast is
first rate, and between them, they beautifully carry the movie.