I packed some Elizabeth Peters and some Georgette Heyer and some Christian historicals and A Clockwork Prince and I am sure I will be fine.
So, I've watched some films. The other day I was looking through the TMN on Demand catalogue and stumbled upon Aidan Quinn's name. I will pretty much watch anything with Aidan Quinn because I love his voice and his eyes and this one was SET in the HEBRIDES on an ISLAND so, obviously, his nice voice with an accent. ( REMEMBER WHEN HE WAS ON WHITE COLLAR???) Also, while every girl is in love with Johnny Depp in Benny and Joon, I only have eyes for Aidan. True story.
|proof: from episode Copycat Caffrey|
So, I watched A Shine of Rainbows which is based on the book by Lillian Beckwith (first chapter here) about a shy young boy named Tomas who is adopted from the city orphanage by a colourful woman named Mairi and her gruff husband, Alec (the novel cites his name is Sandy). Corrie Island, off the coast of Ireland is an enchanted setting: gorgeously coastal and reminiscent of the Eastern Coast of Canada I so love. The cove is filled with magical seals and the odd, potent statues at one end of the island are famous for their magical wish-granting lore.
(disclaimer: I am going to Ireland and Scotland next Summer--- Ireland for my brother's wedding and Scotland because I am tacking it on! I am delighted at this point with anything that will whet my imagination before that trip)
Mairi ( played by Connie Neilsen) is a colourful woman in emotional and literal ways and splashes through the film like a rainbow. Tomas, debilitatingly shy due to the bullying of the orphanage kids and his nervousness of his new surrounding takes awhile to warm to her; but when they finally reach an understanding and Mairi establishes herself as a kindred spirit, their bond is unbreakable.
Tomas loves his new home as Mairi weaves him tales of magical creatures and adages which allow seals to carry messages to those departed and rainbows to leak streams of sparkle to usher those seeking a place inside their colourful light. Mairi will tuck a smile within a bright red handkerchief before she goes away and promotes an understanding with animals and humans alike. Tomas has adventures and makes new friends and overcomes the stammer that so silenced his young voice.
Tomas also befriends a young and abandoned seal named Smudge whom he feels an immediate connection with. While Smudge's family has left him for the coast, Smudge remains in the cove: sure to starve without Tomas' intervention. Smudge and Tomas are parallels: Alec has not embraced Tomas in the same way as his wife because he is certain that Tomas is not strong enough to endure the gritty and harsh realization of their island surrounding. Likewise, Mairi informs us that the seals have left Smudge on this own to test his own ability for survival.
When unexpected (seriously. I didn't see this coming and it was a kid's movie) tragedy strikes, Tomas and Alec are forced into new understanding, love prevails and a touch of imagination colours even the bleakest of circumstance.
This is the most heart-warming thing in the world. It's just ridiculously, saccharinely heart-warming. Tomas, be-dimpled and wide-eyed will steal your heart with his sensitive nature and his pre-natural kinship with his new world. Aidan Quinn is heartbreaking as the gruff Alec and Connie Nielsen is delightful as she paints the world with her spunky wonderment.
It's basically the film equivalent of this adorable bear video that I cannot stop watching:
I needed this amount of sentimentality and I was glad that I so easily found it.