Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Canada, 2004. Alliance Atlantis Communications, Amaze Film + Television, Running Miracles Productions. Screenplay by Michael McGowan. Cinematography by Rene Ohashi. Produced by Teza Lawrence, Andrea Mann, Seaton McLean, Michael Souther. Music by Andrew Lockington. Production Design by Matthew Davies. Costume Design by Anne Dixon. Film Editing by Susan Maggi. Toronto International Film Festival 2004.
Adorable tale of determination set in the 1950s, with a sympathetic young man left alone after his war widow mother falls into a coma. Ralph is a plucky dreamer, his mind set on surviving his strict Catholic school existence by training for the Boston marathon and hoping that winning it will be the miracle that will awaken his mother. Campbell Scott is wonderful as the sensitive priest who allows the boy to pursue his goal despite the protestations of the stereotypically opposed school principle (Gordon Pinsent). The film indulges in lots of underdog film cliches, but the protagonist is amiable and the supporting characters all lovable (especially the iron-willed nurse played by Jennifer Tilly, check out the bench-presses!) A winner from start to finish that will melt even the most cynical heart by its conclusion.