Review: ‘Hallmark Hall of Fame Journey’

Narrator: Paul Sutera.

Narrator: Paul Sutera.

Hallmark moves gently and touchingly into its 45th season with Patricia MacLachlan’s exploration of generational misunderstandings and a boy’s need for parental affection. The sentiment out on the farm inches up toward an elephant’s eye, and the pace at times dawdles, but the story’s worth the wait.

The boy named Journey (Max Pomeranc), 11, and his older sister, Cat (Eliza Dushku), abandoned by their wayward mom, Min (Meg Tilly), live on a farm with their grandparents, Marcus and Lottie (Jason Robards, Brenda Fricker).

Before she tore off in rage after a disagreement with Marcus, Min ripped up old photos of the family; but Journey has one photo of his absent dad, his only keepsake.

Journey trudges through the days without enthusiasm. Marcus has taken up photography to build a past for Journey, and Lottie does what she can to make life bearable.

Director Tom McLoughlin builds Journey’s story brick by brick, and writer MacLachlan knows her characters. Wisely, she leaves place and time indefinite.

Young Pomeranc does a commendable job as the youth who thinks he’s all alone, and Dushku displays a becoming naturalness. Robards turns in a well-modulated if occasionally patented perf, Fricker’s Lottie is compassionate, and Tilly manages a strong interp as roaming mother Min.

Directed at a comfortable pace by McLoughlin, production is handsome indeed, with filming done at the David Murdoch Ranch in Westlake Village. Kees van Oostrum’s lensing gives it a warmth, and other tech credits are first-rate.

Hallmark Hall of Fame Journey

(Sun. (10), 9-11 p.m., CBS)

Production

Filmed in Westlake Village by Hallmark Hall of Fame Prods. Exec producers, Glenn Close, Richard Welsh; supervising producer, Andrew Gottlieb; producer, Brent Shields; co-producer, Patricia MacLachlan; director, Tom McLoughlin; writer, MacLachlan, based on her novel.

Crew

Camera, Kees van Oostrum; editor, Scott Vickery; production designer, Fred Harpman; sound, Jacob Goldstein; music, Patrick Williams..

Cast

Cast: Jason Robards, Brenda Fricker, Meg Tilly, Max Pomeranc, Eliza Dushku, Sal Lopez, Jason Dohring, Frances Conroy, James Lashly, Anne Betancourt, Annie O'Donnell, Thomas Kopache, Claude Earl Jones.
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