×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Everything That Rises

Following the lead of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tommy Lee Jones and Goldie Hawn, Dennis Quaid uses TNT as the venue for his directorial debut on a pet project. "Everything That Rises" blends the rural splendor of the Western with the contemporary urgency of a telepic staple: the tragedy-of-the-week saga. The result is a well-acted, heartfelt TNT Original that gains emotional momentum as it moves forward. in his first shot out of the box, Quaid deserves credit for making a film less contrived than those of many veteran helmers.

With:
Jim Clay ..... Dennis Quaid Kyle Clay ..... Mare Winningham Garth ..... Harve Presnell Nathan Clay ..... Ryan Merriman Red ..... Meat Loaf Alan Jamison ..... Bruce McGill Red's Wife ..... Denise Durham Dr. Palmer ..... Gwyn Ganjean Sheriff ..... Jack Lilley

Following the lead of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tommy Lee Jones and Goldie Hawn, Dennis Quaid uses TNT as the venue for his directorial debut on a pet project. “Everything That Rises” blends the rural splendor of the Western with the contemporary urgency of a telepic staple: the tragedy-of-the-week saga. The result is a well-acted, heartfelt TNT Original that gains emotional momentum as it moves forward. in his first shot out of the box, Quaid deserves credit for making a film less contrived than those of many veteran helmers.

He also stars and serves as an exec producer on the vidpic, taking Mark Spragg’s evocative teleplay and turning it into an earnest tearjerker blessed with sharp performances from Mare Winningham, youngster Ryan Merriman and especially by comeback kid Harve Presnell, who all but steals the film fight out from under Quaid’s broad shoulders.

Shot in the lush expanse of Livingston, Mont., the telefilm features Quaid as Jim Clay, a proud ranchowner living off land passed down through generations of his family who struggles to hold onto his parcels when big business interests move into the area and drive up prices. Winningham is his tough, devoted wife, Kyle, and together they raise their young adolescent son Nathan.

Nathan wants nothing more than to become a cow-roping rodeo superstar like his glum, emotionally inert daddy. But that dream comes crashing to a halt when he’s rendered a paraplegic in an auto accident caused by his father.

The film takes an obvious U-turn right about here to become more of a father-son bonding saga, with Presnell adding a crucial assist as longtime family friend Garth (showing he can do the aging cowpoke routine as well as Jack Palance).

There is an aching eloquence to Quaid’s initial devastation at his son’s condition, his clashing with his wife and the slow release of tenderness and compassion from a man who had taken the concept of tough-love to new extremes.

Where “Everything That Rises” falls down somewhat is in the muted response of Nathan (though Merriman is a game, passionate actor). Here is a kid who knows he’ll never walk again, yet aside from a few tears, he shrugs it off almost as a temporary setback. The anger and bitterness are missing, and so is anything approaching a genuine depiction of the physical rigors of paralysis — the messiness of it, and the awkward response of friends (his school chums are understanding in a way that belies their years).

Film also has to do some tap-dancing to find a happy ending to this edgy puzzle. But a poignancy emerges nonetheless, one built on a gentleness and stoicism that keeps it in the family film fold.

Quaid has wisely chosen a low-key approach and a simple premise for his first foray into directing, and despite some sappy vacations from reality, he largely succeeds.

“Everything That Rises” is beautifully filmed by Jack Conroy and his team. Other tech credits are first rate.

Everything That Rises

(Telepic Western; TNT, Sun. July 12, 5 p.m.)

Production: Filmed in Livingston, Mont., by the Magus Co. in association with Larry Levinson Prods. and TNT. Executive producers, Dennis Quaid, Larry Levinson; co-executive producers, Mark Spragg, Jana Memel; co-producers, Cathleen Summers, Frank Q. Dobbs; director, Quaid; writer, Spragg.

Crew: Camera, Jack Conroy; editor, Glenn Farr; music, David Robbins; production designer, Jerry Wanek; sound, Ken Willingham; casting, Iris Grossman. 2 HOURS.

With: Jim Clay ..... Dennis Quaid Kyle Clay ..... Mare Winningham Garth ..... Harve Presnell Nathan Clay ..... Ryan Merriman Red ..... Meat Loaf Alan Jamison ..... Bruce McGill Red's Wife ..... Denise Durham Dr. Palmer ..... Gwyn Ganjean Sheriff ..... Jack Lilley

More Film

  • 'Self-Portrait With Boy' in Development at

    'Self-Portrait With Boy' in Development at Topic Studios

    Topic Studios (“Leave No Trace”) has bought rights to Rachel Lyon’s debut novel “Self-Portrait With Boy” and plans to develop the project as a feature film. Lyon will adapt her own novel. John Lyons (“Boogie Nights”), who recently signed a first-look deal with Topic Studios, has come on board to produce. The story is set [...]

  • Ventana Sur Animation Panel Focuses On

    Ricardo Cortes Vera Talks Audience-Driven Content at Ventana Sur

    BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Ricardo Cortes Vera, commissioning editor for Señal Colombia, introduced the audience-driven children’s content his company is renowned for in hopes of encouraging a crowd of animators into submitting their own work to the channel. He did so in a keynote address given Tuesday afternoon in Buenos Aires, at the Animation! strand [...]

  • Films by Francois Ozon, Fatih Akin

    Berlin Film Festival: New Films by Francois Ozon, Fatih Akin, Denis Cote in Competition

    New films by Francois Ozon, Fatih Akin and Denis Cote are among the titles that will compete for the Golden Bear at the upcoming Berlin Film Festival. German director Akin’s “Der Goldene Handschuh” (“The Golden Glove”) and French helmer Ozon’s “Grâce à dieu” (“By the Grace of God”) were announced by the Berlinale in its [...]

  • Picture Tree Sells Berlin Competition Film

    Picture Tree Sells Berlin Competition Title 'The Ground Beneath My Feet'

    Picture Tree Intl. is on board as the sales agent for “The Ground Beneath My Feet” (Der Boden Unter Den Füssen), which the Berlin Film Festival revealed Thursday will be in its main competition section. The Austrian drama, directed by Marie Kreutzer, stars Valerie Pachner, Mavie Hörbiger and Pia Hierzegger. The film centers on high-powered [...]

  • Katherine Jerkovic on FiGa Films-Sold Debut

    Ventana Sur: Katherine Jerkovic On Personal References, Icebergs, and Whispered Truths

    Canada-born with roots in Uruguay, Croatia and Argentina, Katherine Jerkovic split her childhood between Belgium and Uruguay. At 18, she settled in Montreal and studied film at Concordia University. After a few shorts (“The Winter’s Keeper”) and some video-installations, she has finished her first feature, “Roads in February.” The film is a co-production between Nicolas [...]

  • 1844 Ent, Distrib Films To Release

    1844 Ent. Acquires North America on Alejandro Fadel’s ‘Murder Me, Monster’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    BUENOS AIRES — 1844 Entertainment, an emerging player on the U.S. distribution scene, has acquired North American rights to Argentine writer-director Alejandro Fadel’s “Muere monstruo muere” (“Murder Me, Monster”), sold by The Match Factory.      The deal was negotiated by 1844 Entertainment’s Tommaso Cerqueglini, The Match Factory’s Michael Weber and Thania Dimitrakopoulou.   As [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content