The Lost and Found Family
by Phil Boatwright

Ellen Bry (St. Elsewhere) stars in a family drama from Provident Films and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, co-starring Lucas Till from Hannah Montana: The Movie. The DVD release was directed by Barnet Bain from a screenplay by Terry Collis, Jeff Ross, and Anna Waterhouse and also features Jessica Luza (Downpour). It will be available for $24.96 on 9/15/09.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Ester Hobbes (Ellen Bry) lives a high society life until her husband dies in an accident and she is left with nothing except a house in rural Georgia that is being used as a foster home. She moves in with the intention of selling the house, but from the unexpected kindness of the foster parents, she ends up helping to take care of the rebellious teenagers (Till and Luza) and three other young children who have issues of their own. Through her faith and prayers, she finds new meaning and a purpose for her life. 

PREVIEW REVIEW: The first 20 minutes or so were painful – not due to incompetence from the filmmakers, but from having to sit through yet again another dysfunctional group propelled by teen angst and adult financial woes. Don’t we all have enough money worries? Is that what we want to see in a movie? But, I stuck with it and hope you will as well.

First, the production is held together by Ellen Bry, a competent middle-aged actress with a style and sincerity that gives the proceedings a reality. Perhaps lacking that star quality of a Meryl Steep, the actress manages to bring believability and gentleness to a story about transformation and finding your way. Both the actress and her character think with head and heart.

Next, the production presents its themes with relevance and clarity: caring for others in order to help you through your own ordeals, centering prayer in the middle of ordeal and never counting out God, and seeing the pain of others masked by hostility. Too often we write off those who seem unloving or self-centered. But with patience and a determination to follow Christ’s command to love one another, that honest caring and forbearance can penetrate even the hardest heart.  It is a message we must constantly place in the center of our daily walk. It’s a nice heart-tugger of a film, with a gentle, lovely ending.
 
The Lost and Found Family has a running time of 93 minutes and is rated PG for drug material and thematic elements.