The Fairway family has three generations of people who want to serve people at Christmastime. Simon and Emily, the grandparents, live in a retirement facility, and they want to minister to those around them in the time they have left. However, their trouble-making friend Byron wants to put on a senior Olympics at the facility while the heavy-handed superior is away. Simon’s and Emily’s adopted son Walter and his wife Ruth have opened their home to foster children, and they have unique struggles to handle during the holidays as they have to deal with biological parents. Yet all of them find different ways to show the love of Christ to those around them.
Production Quality (2 points)
Although this is an ‘indie’ production, it is a clear that a lot of work went into it. This shows up in great video quality, camera work, and audio quality. The soundtrack is also engaging, although it tends to get in the way at times by covering up dialogue. Sets, locations, and props are also well-constructed and well-used. The only other issues to point are some minor editing issues, such as lagging scenes and dead sequences. However, as a whole, this is a great effort that shows great potential for the future.
Plot and Storyline Quality (1 point)
This good effort also spills over into the plot, as there are lots of good ideas in it. For the most part, the characters are realistic and believable due to well-thought-out dialogue. However, there are also too many characters and too many subplots going on here. With so much content, more organization was in order, yet not enough was given. Though there are some moments of good comedy, there are also some moments of flat humor. Also, a lot of the time, this movie plays out more like the premiere of a series rather than a film. It has a very episodic feel rather than the proper arc of a movie plot. Nonetheless, it’s good to experiment with your first film, as long as it’s not horrible, to see what you’re good at. Thus, it seems like this was accomplished in this plot.
Acting Quality (2.5 points)
Though this cast is only semi-professional and contains ‘amateurs,’ the cast members only commit minor errors. Emotions are believable, and line delivery is usually on point. The only slight drawbacks here pertain to some measured or awkward line delivery, but it’s not much to write home about. In the end, this rounds out a very good indie effort that will be something to build off of in the next project.
These days, freshman films seem to be getting better, especially with regards to production quality. Creative teams like this one have more resources at their fingertips than before, and this particular group did a great job with the inexperienced cast members. Though some areas of the plot were suffering, with some future tweaks, they could be dynamic story writers. In the end, it is encouraging to see indie films that give hope for the future.
Final Rating: 5.5 out of 10 points