Blossoms in the Dust

20 Dec

I really am a sucker for a good Christmas movie. I love the sentimentality of White Christmas, the profundity of It’s a Wonderful Life, and even the feel-good nature of movies like Earnest Saves Christmas and All I Want for Christmas. The problem is several years back I became a father. And while those are all enjoyable movies, I find the first two to not be great at entertaining my children and the last two to be integrating the concept of Santa Claus. Now perhaps that is another whole discussion-worthy topic, but we decided not to teach anything to our children that was false. Therefore, during the impressionable years, that excludes Santa undertones.

So, that leads to my sister recommending a movie to me, as she details in the fifth reply down on this comment. Then this Christmas, Jenni finds the movie in a four pack of movies at her Sam’s up there in Tallahassee. So, I run to Sam’s to find it, and I guess my Sam’s was either sold out or just less cool than hers. At any rate, I find a four pack of movies that the descriptions on the back made it seem like I had totally missed out on.

While I think there is something to say about lost movie gems that maneuvered their way under the collective radar, I will save that for another day. And while this four pack of movies contained a movie that I found hysterical, a nice romantic comedy, and quite possibly the best tear-jerker ever, I feel some weird need to review the 4th movie—Blossoms in the Dust. SPOILER ALERT.

Frankly, I am a fan of comedies and this is by no means a comedy. I like titles that I understand, and I have no idea where the title came from. I wanted to watch Christmas movies with my kids, and I’m not sure this is an appropriate movie for preschool girls. The movie is very slow to build. It starts with a weird array of facts that just seem far-fetched even within the spectrum of a movie. It starts with a man stealing a fiancée from another man without much real substance. Then the stolen fiancée’s sister commits suicide for reasons that today would make no sense. Then she is sick in childbirth to the extent she cannot have more children, then her five-year-old son dies in an accident that just seems impossible. She copes in a way that really seems trite for about eight years. Then her husband tries to “trick” her into adopting a daughter. This resolves with her immediately turning into the person she essentially continues to be for the rest of the movie.

Now this is a movie based on a true story, which always leaves a tendency for gaps if it remains true to the story or fiction if it diverges from the story. So forgiving those things, the woman herself was really inspiring. As a human of my age, I remain uneducated on many things that happened before my birth, but I found it amazing that people discriminated based on the birth parents of adopted kids. I found it amazing that single mothers used to put their kids up for adoption because they had no other option. I found it amazing that birth certificates used to say “illegitimate” if the circumstances met that definition.

You can watch the preview, here. Edna Gladney fought for the aforementioned things; all of them. You could see how even the terrible things in her life (and the good things, too) were used to make her better at her purpose. She never gave up. She was focused. She was undeterred. And I found myself wanting to be like her. I found myself thankful that the world is as it is now, so the things that she fought against aren’t prevalent. I was glad that we seem to have good homes for children without parents and committed people working those homes, though I wish I could more definitively know this to be true. I found myself wanting to be as focused, committed, and undeterred as her. I found myself hoping that I had as noble of a cause as she did. And I found myself hoping that it didn’t take a proverbial slap upside the head after years of wasting opportunities to get me started. All-in-all the movie really convicted me.

And when you randomly come across an oddly named movie that you only saw because you were trying to find a movie your sister recommends and then you decide to watch it, you’ve gotta hope for some emotion. As a guy who never watches movies to be inspired, I found it refreshing. Though I have no idea how it is a Christmas movie, and I’m not sure I would recommend it, at the minimum, read the story of Edna Gladney and see what she accomplished. A really nice story of a lady, of whose name nor work I had never heard.

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One Response to “Blossoms in the Dust”

  1. Jenni March 2, 2012 at 5:09 am #

    Good old Edna! I love to be inspired by odd things.

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