Jack of the Red Hearts (2015)

AnnaSophia Robb, Famke Janssen, Scott Cohen, Israel Broussard,
A teenage con artist tricks a desperate mother into hiring her as a live-in companion for her autistic daughter.
  • 7.0 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Jennifer Deaton, Writer:
  • Janet Grillo, Director:
  • Joey Carey, Lucy Mukerjee-Brown, Stefan Nowicki, Morgan White, Producer:

Trailer:

9/10 / 10

Jack of the Red Hearts (2015) was directed by Janet Grillo. It starsJenny Jaffe as "Jack," who changes her identity so that she can behired as a live-in assistant by a family with a child with autism. Sheneeds the money, and she needs a safe place to stay. She has noknowledge of how to work with a child with autism, but she is savvy andshe learns fast. OK--some of the scenes were a little syrupy, but therewas just a small suspension of disbelief required. Most of the sceneslooked real and powerful to me.

The movie is fascinating in many ways--it has great acting, especiallyby Jenny Jaffe, and it doesn't shy away from presenting theheartrending difficulties a family faces when they are raising a childwith this disability.

My compliments to director Grillo, and to Taylor Richardson, who playsGlory, the child with autism. Grillo makes the action real, includingshowing us what Glory sees and hears as she confronts the frighteningworld around her. Taylor Richardson is an amazing actor. She doesn'tdrop out of character for a moment. She has autism, and she doesn't letyou forget it.

We saw this film at the wonderful Dryden Theatre as part of the HighFalls Film Festival in Rochester, NY. It will work well on the smallscreen.

6/10 / 10

Greetings again from the darkness. Being the parent of an autisticchild carries challenges that require incredible patience and love andextraordinary effort. Writer Jennifer Deaton and Director Janet Grillo(Fly Away, 2011) deliver an insightful and interesting look at thesechallenges through the eyes of two parents, their autistic daughter,their teenage son, and the in-home caregiver they hire.

The film begins with a glimpse of what appears to be two differentworlds: a street wise teenage girl helping her younger sister "escape"from a foster home, and two beaten down parents of a young autisticdaughter. Soon enough, these two worlds collide andJack/Jacqueline/Donna is hired by the parents to be a live-in companionfor their daughter. The parents are so desperate for help that theyfall for the savvy con being played by Donna.

None of what happens is surprising … Donna turns out to have a knackfor helping autistic Glory, the parents begin to experience a bit morehappiness, the teenage son develops a crush on Donna, and the cloud oftruth is constantly hovering. Even though some of the scenes are bitcorny, for the most part the story is told in a grounded manner thatallows us to connect with all of the characters – conveying thepressures, stress and periodic moments of breakthrough.

The acting is strong throughout. Taylor Richardson (A Most ViolentYear) is exceptional as the autistic Glory. She is believable and nevergoes beyond what fits for the character. Famke Janssen and Scott Cohenare solid as the parents, and Israel Broussard shows real promise asteenage Robert/Bobert. Donna/Jack's younger sister has limited screentime, but Sophia Anne Caruso (Brigitta in TV's live version of TheSound of Music) makes it work. Shouldering much of the film is AnnaSophia Robb (Bridge to Terabithia, The Way Way Back) as Jack/Donna. Shedoes her best work in the second half of the film, as her initialtough-girl stint is a bit shaky. However her scenes with Glory areoutstanding, and it's a pleasure to watch her slowly turn over a newleaf.

As strong as the cast is, much of the credit goes to director Grillo(ex-wife of David O. Russell) who has a real understanding of the worldof autism, and keeps us focused on importance of family, the need to beloved, and the rewards of finding one's place in the world.

9 / 10

The best life lesson comes from our own experience.

I recently reviewed a French film called 'Marie's Story', and that led me to check out another masterpiece 'The Miracle Worker'. I loved both the films which are based on the real story that sets around the same time, but in the different continents. This was inspired by those two, other than that there's no connection. In fact they have given a credit by mentioning the Hollywood version. Only a similar theme, but the plot revolves differently. Like it gives an insight of some misconception on the autism.

It was actually about a 18 year old rebellious girl Jack, who meets a child with autism. After her young sister was taken away by the child service, she plans to fight back for her custody as they were promised to their mother that they would stay together. Now all she has to do is to find a job, but for her criminal record, she has only one way to get one and she pushes for it. So the story begins when the struggle for her sister guide for a new and unexpected life for both her and the family she meets.

The major misunderstanding is it is not all about autism, it was only a part of the story. But the original tale is about a girl whose life transformation from the teenhood to the adulthood. You could say it is a kind of mix of coming-of-age and self-discovery. The phase of that life is very crucial, especially for those who had lost their parents and struggling to find their own place in the society. So the learning process comes from their own experience than anybody's guidance. In that perspective, it was a beautiful and a simple family drama that inspires us. It was not based on the real story, but a very close to one, that's how it leaves the expression on the audience.

"Just felt like my heart was ripped out of my chest and served on a cracker."

The girl who played the role of an autistic child was good, not fully impressed, but the effort was highly appreciable. As I said the story's focus was on AnnaSophia Robb, though Famke Janssen has given a decent performance too. Most of the human inventions were the accidents and so the most of the relationships. It is until they meet, the right person for each, then their life would be changed forever. Like perhaps Annie-Helen and Marie-Marguerite from the films I mentioned in the first paragraph.

The human bond is very unique, but moving to the modern world's society, the rules have kept changing on treating the individuals because of the status of their life. So for the orphans, especially in the first world countries not easy to tackle such situation. This film highlights some of the issues, where and how the teenagers are getting lost.

Love and care are what most essential for the children, that's what family is for and with that kind of support they will achieve good things in life. But not the same case for the orphans who're treated as some kind of robots and forced to do against their will. It is good for their future, but a messed up system and its officials behaving badly like handling a prisoner. That's how Jack looks at from the perspective of her own life, until she meets a family who seek her help and realises the life is not as complicated as it looks, but we've to opt a right path to travel which needs a great sacrifice on the way to accomplish.

It is a very good message film. When one fails to realise, just let them to experience themselves until they come to realise. Sometimes it will be too late to begin again, but nothing is impossible. It is very sad that the film is undiscovered by many. It is no masterpiece, but the quest was very clear to depict the world from the teenager's perspective about how they look at the society, especially the system that laid eyes on them when no other eyes are looking after them. I Highly recommended it, especially for the drama fans and the family audience. Perhaps it might be one of the must see from the last year.

8/10

6 / 10

Autism and Rebellion

Greetings again from the darkness. Being the parent of an autistic child carries challenges that require incredible patience and love and extraordinary effort. Writer Jennifer Deaton and Director Janet Grillo (Fly Away, 2011) deliver an insightful and interesting look at these challenges through the eyes of two parents, their autistic daughter, their teenage son, and the in-home caregiver they hire.

The film begins with a glimpse of what appears to be two different worlds: a street wise teenage girl helping her younger sister "escape" from a foster home, and two beaten down parents of a young autistic daughter. Soon enough, these two worlds collide and Jack/Jacqueline/Donna is hired by the parents to be a live-in companion for their daughter. The parents are so desperate for help that they fall for the savvy con being played by Donna.

None of what happens is surprising ? Donna turns out to have a knack for helping autistic Glory, the parents begin to experience a bit more happiness, the teenage son develops a crush on Donna, and the cloud of truth is constantly hovering. Even though some of the scenes are bit corny, for the most part the story is told in a grounded manner that allows us to connect with all of the characters – conveying the pressures, stress and periodic moments of breakthrough.

The acting is strong throughout. Taylor Richardson (A Most Violent Year) is exceptional as the autistic Glory. She is believable and never goes beyond what fits for the character. Famke Janssen and Scott Cohen are solid as the parents, and Israel Broussard shows real promise as teenage Robert/Bobert. Donna/Jack's younger sister has limited screen time, but Sophia Anne Caruso (Brigitta in TV's live version of The Sound of Music) makes it work. Shouldering much of the film is Anna Sophia Robb (Bridge to Terabithia, The Way Way Back) as Jack/Donna. She does her best work in the second half of the film, as her initial tough-girl stint is a bit shaky. However her scenes with Glory are outstanding, and it's a pleasure to watch her slowly turn over a new leaf.

As strong as the cast is, much of the credit goes to director Grillo (ex-wife of David O. Russell) who has a real understanding of the world of autism, and keeps us focused on importance of family, the need to be loved, and the rewards of finding one's place in the world.

9 / 10

A must watch drama-family movie!

I have seen many kinds of these films and I have to say that this film is a must watch!

First of all there is a well-made plot story with a family who wants someone to keep their autistic child (babysitting) and help him improve in his life (school,family relationships). After a lot they found one girl (18 years old) named Jack(Jacqueline) who had a criminal record and tried to trick them to get the job cause she wanted to take the custody of her little sister which was in reformatory for minors.

About the characters: I have to say the cast is awesome! The two stars of the film AnnaSophia Robb and Taylor Richardson have the talent despite their age and I believe they also show it in this movie. Personaly I love AnnaSophia Robb I have seen every movie of her and I have to say that is a very beautiful and talented actress.

I promise you that this movie will not disappoint you. But you will have to be ready about the strong feelings and the dramatic atmosphere that will make you cry sometimes but this is the point of this film to make you Feel!

Have a nice time!!!