27th Nov2017

‘Kepler’s Dream’ Review

by Kevin Haldon

Stars: Isabella Blake-Thomas, Holland Taylor, Steven Micheal Quezada, Esperanza Fermin, Sean Patrick Flanery, Kelly Lynch | Written and Directed by Amy Glazer


Sean Patrick Flanery (The Boondock Saints, Powder), Kelly Lynch (Mr.Mercedes, Charlie’s Angels), and Holland Taylor (The Truman Show, Two and-a-Half Men) star in director Amy Glazer’s highly anticipated feature adaptation of the hit YA novel by Juliet Bell…. Well this one is most definitely a change of pace for a review. However I was really intrigued with this movie and… Oh hell, I don’t know it could be because its nearly Christmas and that is when we drop our movie guard and be open to the possibility of a good weepie!

Bella (Isabella Blake-Thomas) is an eleven year old city slicker who seems to be going through a hell of a time, with her parents being recently divorced, she hardly ever has a chance to speak to her flakey father (Sean Patrick Flanery) and her mother (Kelly Lynch) is about to undergo some severe chemotherapy. Bella is supposed to be spending summer with her dad while her mum is in hospital but he has decided to ship her off her grandmothers in New Mexico instead. Upon getting there Bella finds her grandmother (Holland Taylor) to be a hard nosed, strict and fairly unapproachable lady, however she finds company in the ranch hand Miguel (Steven Micheal Quezada) and his daughter Rosie (Esperanza Fermin). Bella is having a hard enough time with all the crap she is trying not to think to much about, but when her grandmothers priceless book goes missing and Miguel is the prime suspect she is determined to clear his good name.

That’s pretty much it in a nutshell. My big thing with Kepler’s Dream is that it seemed like this was a movie I could maybe sit down with my eldest child (9-years old; well, 10 in two months) and we could enjoy together instead of the latest Disney/Pixar/Harry Potter. A movie that could show a young strong female lead dealing with some truly real world problems but do it in a way that is fun, light really well written and gives the overarcing elephant in the room the credence it deserves, not pandering to its viewers. Kepler’s Dream does all these things and more, we both thoroughly enjoyed the movie and while some scenes were somewhat upsetting and even had this “hardened geezer” with a lump in his throat, when you come to the end you are left with a sense of hope.

Now, the young, strong lead – Isabella Blake-Thomas – is excellent; she is the heart of this movie and did a fantastic job. Often some of these child stars just can’t hit a level of maturity and believeability in their performance that gets me believing in, and empathising with, what I’m seeing but Blake-Thomas has such a high level of maturity in this role and strikes a fine line of a girl with the world on her shoulders and one that just wants to pretend like her life is fine and she can carry on accordingly… Brilliant!

Of course her job is made somewhat easier with the cast she has around her, the likes of Holland Taylor who is doing what she does best. The brief performances from Kelly Lynch and Sean Patrick Flanery just hammer home the dynamics of the cast; and Quezada as Miguel is the soul of the movie, constantly inching you closer to feeling for Bella. In a way he is you in this movie – a third-party perspective watching on and wanting to help.

I recommend Kepler’s Dream, especially if you have a child approaching 10 and upwards, there is a lot to take in here and there are far worse ways to tell these stories. This one is done with a lot of care and attention, so its a big recommend from myself and my daughter. There is something for everyone here: mystery, drama, intrigue and more. I wont lie this was a nice change of pace for me.

Kepler’s Dream in cinemas across America and available on InDemand from December 1st.


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