RED does not mean "stop." GREEN does not mean "go." Click on the CAPCon Alert image for explanation
A ministry of the ChildCare Action Project:
Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP Ministry)
A 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Christian Ministry. www.capalert.com/
Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones through you in His name by His Word
(2004), PG [PG*] (1hr 32min)
The #1 Christian entertainment media analysis service on the Internet. We give you OBJECTIVE tools NO ONE ELSE CAN to help YOU make an informed decision for yourself whether a film is fit for your family. Over 1000 analyses for parents, grandparents, pastors, youth leaders and more.
Click it to try it!
(a PayPal account is NOT required)
OR (preferred) by Check or Money Order.
The CAP is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit Christian ministry (75-2607488). Donations to us are TAX-DEDUCTIBLE
on what Hollywood feeds your kids. SUBSCRIBE
to our FREE text-only email version of these reports and our COMING SOON notices.
Christian Long Distance
(This section may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)
Production (US): LauferFilm.com
Distribution (US): Laufer Film Company
Director(s): William C. Laufer
Producer(s): William C. Laufer, Tiffany Laufer, Nolan D. Laufer, Edward and Sarah Smith, Albert Laufer, John A. Smith
Written by: William C. Laufer
Cinematography/Camera: Tiff Laufer
Music: Mike Petrone, Richard John Baker
Film Editing: Ronen Pestes
Casting: Marcy Ronen
Production Design: Erika Rice
Art Direction: James Renner
Viewed on: Laufer Film DVD, provided by Willowcreek Marketing
Christmas at Maxwell's is a new addition to the holiday films. It is a story about a miracle soothing the horror of a tragedy at Christmas; about restoration by God's grace.
The story opens with introducing us to the plight of the Maxwell's living with a wife and mother of two who is dying of cancer. This film effectively addresses and expresses the full spectrum of personal terrors experienced by the slow death of a family member. This film also effectively shares the joy found in a miracle. It has been a long while since I have seen in more than 1000 films a performance as emotionally powerful as what Andrew May performed near the end of the movie.
Successful wine maker Andrew Austin (Andrew May) is trying his best to go on with life as usual in the face of the impending death of his wife Susie (Jaqueline "Jack" Hourigan). But Andrew becomes increasingly stressed as Susie slides deeper and deeper each day into the jaws of cancer as it nibbles the life out of her.
As seems to be true in many cases of coming death, the victim seems to be the strongest and most patient. Susie is that. Hourigan plays it well. It cannot be easy to make each day of a long story seem a little more horrible than the last, but discounting the efforts of makeup to make Hourigan seem closer to death each day, Hourigan is the reason the portrayal is effective.
Andrew tries to keep Susie's dark future from their kids, Chris and Mary (Charlie May, Julia May), but they begin to see through him and begin to show signs of sharing his stress.
Flashbacks into his past begin to haunt Andrew more frequently. Among them are the horrors of being told Susie has terminal cancer; Lucy from Susie's previous relationship; Karen (Lauren Dowden). Karen is not literally a flashback device of the film making but is rather a "ghost from the past" for Andrew as she reenters his life if only momentarily. After a failed "love of my life" romance of many moons ago, Karen reappears to Andrew in a dance bar where Andrew was seeking comfort from a bottle. Karen wanted to be that comfort.
As if enough troubles were not already heaped on the Maxwells, a social worker calls Andrew asking if he would take a temporary care placement of an old man, a stranger, Gus (Angus May) just for the night. His last name was Carpenter. He was quiet. He was great with the kids. Gus was sometimes sharp with Andrew who was always in doubt whether taking in a guest with his wife dying was a good idea [Heb. 13:2]. Indeed, Susie is the one who convinced Andrew to take in old Gus. This was on Christmas Eve, December 24. But Gus died on December 22! I will not explain this intricate subplot of the story any further should you opt to see it for yourself.
In fact, I have already spoiled too much of the well-stitched fabric of plot and subplots though I have touched only a few. Let me move into what we do best -- revealing the content which might be of interest to you as parents/grandparents you decide whether this film is fit for the kids.
In this story of courage, strength, faith and forgiveness there are three uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary [Prov. 22:11], adulterous attempts by Karen [Hebr. 13:4], inappropriate touch as May touches Hourigan's clothed right breast [1 Cor. 7:1-2] and, which would seem likely in a film about a wine maker, quite a bit of presentation of alcoholic beverages, a bar and drinking. While it is certainly not sinful to drink wine in moderation it is most certainly sinful to get drunk whether on wine, beer or hard liquor. And when a film labeled by the MPAA as acceptable for the young teen and preteen presents alcoholic beverages and consumption of them, there is a chance the child will be emboldened by such display. This has been proven by the American College of Physicians [Eph. 5:18]. In addition, God's name is used in vain several times [Deut. 5:11]. While desperation might break down moral obedience, desperation does not excuse sin.
Please inspect the listing of observations in the Findings/Scoring section of this report -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- before deciding for what age stratum in your family this film might be fit.
If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.
***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
(The objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary/
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
Sexual Immorality (S)
Offense to God (O)
Christian Educators Association International
|There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|
|In the name of Jesus: |
Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.
ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture
100% dependent on your tax-deductible financial support
Christian Long Distance
We exist only by your tax-deductible donations. PLEASE
Features PayPal! You do NOT need an account to donate.