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Rated 3.38 stars
by 13 people


ReelTalk Movie Reviews
A Movie That Matters
by Betty Jo Tucker

From its shocking beginning to its emotionally powerful conclusion, Two Ways Home grabs your heart and won’t let go. The story follows Kathy, a  woman living with a bi-polar disorder, who returns to her farm home in Iowa after being arrested and spending time in jail for a botched robbery she was involved in.

Tanna Frederick (Hollywood Dreams) plays this meaty role with a wonderful authenticity that wins us over right away. She becomes Kathy from head to toe. And that’s why we empathize with her as she faces almost unsurmountable obstacles while trying to reconnect with her family. Veteran actor Tom Bower (Die Hard) portrays Kathy’s cantankerous grandfather, the only one who seems glad to see her.

Unfortunately, grandpa is recovering from a heart attack and in danger of being declared “incompetent” to handle his own affairs. The way these two wounded characters help each other is a joy to see. Frederick and Bower deliver priceless performances as they interact in these key roles. Warmth almost seeps off the screen during most of their scenes together.

Kathy, whose mother has trouble accepting her, also wants to be a mom again to her own pre-teen daughter Cori, played by Rylie Behr. Angry and hurt by her mom’s previous behavior and long absence, Cori wants nothing to do with Kathy. She’s snippy, rude and downright mean whenever her mom appears. And then there’s Cori’s father (Joel West). He’s not at all happy to see Kathy. Neither is his girlfriend.

Is it possible for four generations of this troubled family to get along?  If so, heavy doses of compassion, understanding, and love will be required.       

Two Ways Home boasts soul-touching scenes.

I teared up watching what each means.

Leaving home and then coming back.

Mental suffering, facing flack.

 

Imperfection, old age, and change.

Can family group rearrange?

A lovely film with gutsy folks.

Nothing looks fake; no cutesy jokes.

 

Tanna Frederick commands the screen.

Heartbreaking acting -- she’s the Queen!

Tom Bower reaches deep inside

and takes us on a poignant ride.

 

Movies that matter make me cheer.

Two Ways Home is one for this year.

I would be remiss not to mention the wonderful sense of place this movie achieves. Most scenes take place on an Iowa farm, and I felt quite at home there. I grew up part of the time in a similar setting, and everything in Two Ways Home seems real to me.  

Kudos to director Ron Vignone, screenwriter Richard Schinnow, and producer Tanna Frederick as well as to all the fine cast members and crew for making a film that helps us realize -- no matter how difficult the problems -- hope, courage and persistence sometimes can save the day and even the farm.

Two Ways Home emerges as an important movie supporting Mental Health Awareness.    

(Two Ways Home World Premiere is scheduled for June 15, 2019, at the Dancing with Films Festival in Los Angeles. Click here for more information.)  


                                                                                                                                                                               
 
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