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CHRISTMAS COTTAGE: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
When Thomas Kinkaid (Jared Padalecki) returns to his hometown of Placerville for Christmas, he learns that his mother is facing foreclosure on her cottage - the family home. With no help from long-gone father Bill (Richard Burgi), and with no prospects, Tom and his brother Pat (Aaron Ashmore) determine to help raise money to pay the back mortgage. That's when Tom, a hobby drawer and painter, gets lucky and is offered to paint the town's Christmas mural for $500. With inspiration from neighbouring veteran artists Glen Wessler (Peter O'Toole), Tom sets about it and finds his calling. Meanwhile, the town also finds its heart.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
From the farcically duelling Christmas decorators in Placerville, USA, to the soul searching emerging artist is one big jump in tone - yet somehow Michael Campus manages it without too much jarring in this story inspired by the painter Thomas Kinkaid, who was propelled to let his art lead him when his mother's cottage was threatened with foreclosure. Even though he loses his way here and there, Campus pokes fun at the smalltown folk with affection.

Jared Padalecki is superficially an unlikely artist, but he convinces with sheer charm, and Marcia Gay Harden is her reliable self as Maryanne, his loving and long suffering mother with a heart of gold and a bank account without any. Richard Burgi is terrific as the estranged and half deranged father, and all the supports are excellent. Peter O'Toole plays the ageing artist Glen Wessler, who is something of a mentor and father figure to young Tom; O'Toole is simply magical these days in roles as venerable or not so venerable old men, and he gives it his all here.

The film dips into syrup as it draws to a close, but even that we can forgive for its genuine warmhearted mood. The latent story of how Tom Kinkaid made the transition from smalltown muralist to famous artists is yet to be told. This is just a snapshot of the beginning.

Published December 11, 2008



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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

CHRISTMAS COTTAGE: DVD (PG)
(US, 2008)

CAST: Jared Padalecki, Marcia Gay Harden, Peter O'Toole, Chelan Simmons, Aaron Ashmore, Chris Elliott, Gina Holden, Kiersten Warren, Geoffrey Lewis, Edward Asner, Richard Burgi, Richard Moll

PRODUCER: Michael Campus, Arla Dietz Campus, Nanette Kinkade, Thomas Kinkade, Julie Yorn

DIRECTOR: Michael Campus

SCRIPT: Ken LaZebnik

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Robert Brinkman

EDITOR: Don Brochu

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Michael S. Bolton

RUNNING TIME: 95 minutes

PRESENTATION: 16:9; DD 5.1

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Sony

DVD RELEASE: December 3, 2008







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