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The film centers on two couples separated by geographical distance, but brought together by one common goal – to be the parents of young Joey (Maxwell Perry Cotton) Campbell.
The story begins in the home of Rip (Barry Pepper) and Wendy (Mira Sorvino) Porter. Two police arrive after a domestic disturbance call and find Rip drunk and Wendy huddled upstairs, obviously battered and bruised.
Flash forward seven years later and the script flips to the wealthy home of the Campbell’s, Jack (Cole Hauser) and Molly (Kate Levering). They adopted Joey at birth and have provided financially and affectionately for him during the first several years of his childhood.
After his release from prison, Wendy informs Rip that she gave birth to a baby boy they conceived prior to his arrest. After realizing that Wendy’s mother had forged his signature, Rip convinced Wendy that they should get their kid back since the contract could be voided.
The Porter’s win the case and the process of transitioning Joey to his new home begins. Jack and Molly are not about to stand idly by and they exhaust all resources, including a trip to Ohio by Jack to offer Rip money, but are unable to find a way to keep Joey safe with them.
Like Dandelion Dust is a compelling and intense drama movie that causes your heart to churn in anticipation of how the story is to play out. On one side of the plot, you have the couple that has cared for Joey his whole life. On the other, you have the couple trying to rebuild their lives with hopes that a connection with their biological child can heal their marital wounds.
Director Gunn brilliantly presents a story that offers the challenging perspective of each couple. Cole Hauser is intense and convicted as the man unrelenting in his attempts to protect his son. The less familiar Kate Levering is entirely genuine as a mother that is consumed with a passion to keep her son, yet overwhelmed by her own grief at the reality of having to give him up.
Mira Sorvino delivers as well as the biological mother faced with the tough choice of bring a child into an uncertain home with a husband struggling to get past his own demons. She desperately wants to give him the son he desires, but also sees the affects the situation is ultimately having on young Joey.
Barry Pepper is an extremely talented actor who has quietly built a solid portfolio of film roles, including work in Saving Private Ryan (1998), The Green Mile (1999), and Flags of Our Fathers (2006). He is a perfect fit for his role as a man trying to get past his own demons and hoping that he can be the father he needs to be to make things work with Wendy and Joey.
Like Dandelion Dust is a winner because it forces you to imagine yourself in each of the key contrasting situations in the film. What if you were Rip or Wendy and wanted a second chance to parent your biological child? What if you were Jack or Molly and wanted to protect a child that you have called “son” since his birth?
With so much at stake for Joey, you find yourself hoping that his future serves as the underlying motivation for all the key decision makers in his life. The film makers do a nice job leaving that audience on the cusp of uncertainty until the movie’s final moments.
Like Dandelion Dust DVD Special Features:
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 104 Minutes
DVD Release Date: January 25, 2011
Director: Jon Gun
Starring: Barry Pepper, Cole Hauser, Maxwell Perry Cotton, Kate Levering, Maxwell Perry Cotton, L. Scott Caldwell
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