Lullaby
by Phil Boatwright

Available on DVD on July 29, 2014. Richard Jenkins, Garrett Hedlund, Jessica Brown Findlay, Anne Archer, Jennifer Hudson, Jessica Barden, Terrence Howard, Amy Adams. ARC Entertainment. Drama. Written and directed by Andrew Levitas.

FILM SYNOPSIS: ARC Entertainment presents this drama about a Jewish man dying of cancer and wanting to be taken off life support. During his last 48 hours the man tries to reunite with his estranged son.

PREVIEW REVIEW: The acting is good, the technical aspects all up to standard, and writer/director Andrew Levitas does his best to address the issues of family relationships and assisted suicide. Christians, however, may find the production falling short. First, though the father seems to be devout in his faith, everyone else just goes on with a Jewish ceremony in order to placate a dying man. That scene itself seems more respectful to Jewish traditions than to the Jewish faith. Certainly, the same problem occurs in many a Christian home, for there are many “Christians” also caught up in the traditions of their religion while failing to spiritually connect with their Creator. Sometimes we can learn or be reminded of spiritual matters by characters in movies who aren’t necessarily looking for them (Dead Man Walking is a great example).

While I love the Jewish people, I’m saddened that many of God’s chosen people have denied Jesus as Messiah. I hope that won’t be misread as disrespectful of those who follow the Jewish religion. It’s just that as a Christian I believe we have found the Messiah, while those strictly following the Jewish doctrine are still looking for Him. So their solutions to life leave out an essential component.

Secondly, Lullaby is unsatisfying because we are abused by R-rated content that includes the lead misusing Jesus’ name. And nearly everyone who appears on screen gets his or her chance to use the f-word, totaling the count to at least 37 times. Lazy writing. And considering how crude our culture has become, any screenwriter who continues to abuse language is just adding to the banality our society has fallen into.

DVD ALTERNATIVE: A Vow to Cherish. From 1999, starring Ken Howard, Barbara Babcock, and Ossie Davis, this drama from World Wide Pictures was one of the most powerful scripts to come to the screen in years. A Vow To Cherish pointedly examined the effect Alzheimer's disease had on a family, and where each member attained the courage to persevere. Far more than a "disease of the week" movie, A Vow To Cherish presented three-dimensional people who found fulfillment and strength of character through Christ Jesus. Full review.