Rose is an orphan girl who lives in Mrs. Hartley’s orphan home. However, when Mrs. Hartley and some of the children die of illness one fateful month, all of the orphans are sent to other places. Rose and some of her friends are sent to live in the orphanage of the angry Mr. Crampton, who has strict rules and doesn’t want children messing around with his stuff. However, the more Rose learns about Mr. Crampton, the more she learns that he is hurting during the holiday season and needs someone to love him.
Production Quality (2 points)
As usual for John Lyde and his creative teams, Christmas Oranges is a professional production. This is evidenced by good video quality, audio quality, and camera work. The soundtrack is somewhat generic, but it is fine for the genre. Locations are mostly fine, even though there are few of them, but the sets are limited in scope. There are also some random scenes that are poorly lit for no clear reason. However, on the flip side, the editing is surprisingly effective. On the whole, this is a high quality effort that has become commonplace from this group.
Plot and Storyline Quality (1.5 points)
In a different turn from other stories from John Lyde and company, Christmas Oranges has a uniquely substantial plot that contains the accessible struggles of relatively believable characters. Though there is narration that hurts things, the child characters are actually pretty good, even if the orphan premise is slightly cheesy. There are also some silly ‘kids’ sequences and montages, along with some strawman characters. However, for the most part, the dialogue and the ideas therein are mostly meaningful and do their best to avoid cliched Christmas concepts involving orphans. Probably the best element of this storyline is its use of realistic character backstories to humanize the ‘bad’ characters. On the whole, while this movie did not go as far as it could have, it is still enjoyable and is worth a watch.
Acting Quality (2 points)
While most of the cast members are definitely professional, this section still tends to be a mixed bag. Some cast members seem to be overdoing their performances just a bit. However, on the whole, emotions are realistic, and line delivery is on point. As a side note, costuming is historically authentic. Overall, this rounds out a very professional effort.
The Covenant Communications\Paulist Productions\Mainstay Productions collaboration has been working for years to make respectable films, and for the most part, they have succeeded. However, they have been plagued by an inability to get over the last proverbial hill that stands between them and film greatness. Nonetheless, they have all the tools necessary to do so. Thus, we believe that sometime in the near future, they will finally break through and make that dynamic film that has alluded them for years.
Final Rating: 5.5 out of 10 points