William Wenlock, Luke Foxall, Claire Walkington, Robert J. Purdy, Bruce Marchiano
Andrew Walkington, Richard Brimblecombe
Interview w/Director Andrew Walkington; The Real Mary; Interview w/Bruce Marchiano; Deleted Scenes
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No family is beyond hope ...
Do you believe that? Really believe that?
Based on a true story about a family shattered by tragedy and their struggle to be united, For Love's Sake is a refreshingly honest and heartfelt film that is at times incredibly bleak yet it never loses sight of how faith, community, and choice can overcoming even the most seemingly hopeless situations in life.
Mary (Claire Walkington) is an already fragile married mother of two when her husband Peter (Richard Brimblecombe) is tragically killed. With her already vulnerable emotional state now more fractured than ever, Mary spirals into a suicidal depression and subsequently loses custody of her two sons, James (William Wenlock) and Paul (Luke Foxall). The already traumatized boys are further traumatized by a system that keeps handing them off from institution to institution and foster care placements. They begin to lose hope that they will ever be reunited with their mother again, but just when things seem the bleakest her mother finds a sliver of hope through the intervention of a compassionate Christian therapist (Bruce Marchiano) and a faith community that helps to love her back to life. As she regains her faith and experiences her own emotional healing, Mary finds the strength she needs to fight a skeptical bureaucracy for custody of her children.
Co-written and directed by Andrew Walkington, For Love's Sake is a bit of a rarity among faith-based films because it is willing to tell a harsh truth without the usual sugarcoating that one often finds in faith-based cinema. Mary's struggles are genuine and brought poignantly to life by newcomer Claire Walkington, a drama graduate and high school teacher with primarily a stage background prior to her appearance here.
The film ultimately soars on the strength of the performances of young newcomers William Wenlock and Luke Foxall. As young James, Wenlock offers just the right amount of vulnerability infused with a strength and faith of a boy wise beyond his years. In contrast, Luke Foxall pulls off the challenge of playing an elder brother whose response to all the trauma is to act out aggressively while still being a sympathetic character. Foxall accomplishes his mission quite nicely. Among the supporting players, Robert J. Purdy and Bruce Marchiano leave the strongest impression by infusing their characters with a rich humanity that resonates nicely amidst the jarring authenticity of the bureaucracy that unfolds.
Picked up by Vision Video for a DVD release, For Love's Sake will be a valued addition to the DVD collection of any family of faith but may resonate most deeply with those families who have experienced a trauma in their lives. The film has received the Dove Foundation's "Faith Friendly" Seal and is the kind of film that could be the absolutely perfect gift for that Christian you know who is on a healing journey.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic