NOELLE 21

 

In this heartfelt Christmas tale, aloof Father Jonathan Keene (David Wall) comes to Cape Cod to close a failing parish run by caring yet troubled Father Simeon Joyce (Sean Patrick Brennan). But both men harbor secrets fueled by guilt and shame, and soon, Keene questions his faith. As his heart opens to the townsfolk, especially the lovely Marjorie Worthington (Kerry Wall), Keene discovers the magic of forgiveness and the gift of a second chance.

Director:

David Wall

Cast:
David Wall     Sean Patrick Brennan
 
Brennan Wall     Kerry Wall
 
Jean Bates     Curt Dewitz
 
David Hickey     Ciaran O’Reilly
 
Kevin McElroy     J. Scott Henderson
Genres:

Drama

 

THE AV REVIEW:


For a pic set in a religious world I found it refreshing that it was unafraid to poke fun of the foibles of its own, while at the same time upholding its faith and values.

It’s the best of the bunch so far to come out of the recent stream of “faith-based” films, as it seems like the director actually knew what he was doing with the camera and a myriad other things in his story-telling choices.

For reasons even he cannot understand, Keene decides to give his old friend one last chance—use the holiday season to prove that the church is well attended and financial viable or else he will bolt its doors come the New Year. The two agree that a live Nativity is a good way to draw the locals and they go about choosing from what few elderly parishioners the church has for the Holy Family and attendants. The townsfolk turn out to be a quirky ensemble of eccentrics, oddball characters who would feel right at home in Garrison Keeler’s Lake Wobegone. Drawing off of the same charming elements that make the plot of A Charlie Brown Christmas such an enchanting treat every year, the parishioners preen and prance, imagining themselves actors of Shakespearian caliber while Keene looks on, his decision all but made.

Father Keene is Ebenezer Scrooge in a clerical collar, a judgmental Grinch who “hates the people side of things” and is afraid to show the slightest softness. The truth is, the obedient but troubled Keene has a dark secret and a serpentine road to a calling he never desired. He uses religion as a way to hide from his past and atone for his sins. Only one person in the town seems to know how to penetrate his hard exterior. Marjorie Worthington (Kerry Wall, David’s real-life wife), the local librarian, is a woman with a painful secret of her own, a dubious engagement to local money, and a very palpable draw on Keene’s heart. He desperately wants her for the part of the Madonna, but it is clear that he also wants her for her.

 

The DVD is pretty fun and inspiring. I’ve had my fill of faith-based movies, but this one managed to catch my attention. “Noelle” also packs a bunch of special features alongside excellent A/V Quality. If that wasn’t enough, there’s also the high quality of the main feature. It’s a recommended rental. 


TroyAnderson

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