Monday, December 2, 2013

When Calls The Heart dvd

When Calls the Heart, directed by Michael Landon Jr. and based on the best-selling books by Janette Oke, tells the story of a young high society teacher receiving her first classroom post in a prairie town in the Western Frontier.  Determined to prove to her family that she is brave enough to live on her own,  Elizabeth (Poppy Drayton) struggles with her own fears and doubts until she discovers her late Aunt's diary.  Her aunt (Maggie Grace), also named Elizabeth, had set off on a similar adventure as a teacher into the frontier, where she struggled with prairie life and eventually met and fell in love with a Royal Canadian Mountie (Stephen Amell).  Reading her aunt’s words, the young Elizabeth decides to put her future in God’s hands and embark on her own adventure where she uses the diary as her guide as well as Edward, another Mountie (Daniel Sharman), sworn to see her arrive. (press release)

This could be called "The Tale of Two Elizabeths", as the film skillfully interwines the stories of young Elizabeth Thatcher and the aunt whose name she carries. Those familiar with Janette Oke's Canadian West series will recognize the story of Elizabeth Thatcher and Wynn Delaney, but this film is the story of Elizabeth's namesake who is deciding if she is brave enough to head west for her first teaching assignment. Aunt Elizabeth's story is shown through flashback's as her neice reads through the diary her sister "borrowed" from their parent's safe.

With her courage gathered, and believing this is what God has called her to do, Elizabeth decides to head west and share her love of learning with the children in a small coal mining town. Against her wishes, her father requests family friend, Edward Montclair of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, to see that she safely arrives at her destination. Her disdain turns to admiration as they journey across the land.

The dvd leaves you wanting more of this story. Fortunately for those who receive the Hallmark Channel, the story does continue as a television series scheduled to begin January 11th. (I did notice that there will be different actors in some of the major roles, but am pleased to see Lori Loughlin in both the film and the series. I also loved seeing
Jean Smart in the film!) However, just because this movie is a pilot, it does not mean it is not a satisfying stand-alone film. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the movie and was content with the way it ended. Of course, I want to know more, but I felt that the ending was one that left a feeling of hope and a promise of good things to come. The scenery was gorgeous, and the story was a well told blend of romance, comedy, tragedy, and a touch of history. I have seen and enjoyed several of Michael Landon Jr.'s films, but I do believe that this is my favorite of all. 

Disclosure: I received this dvd compliments of Word Films and Edify Media for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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