Michael O’Neil is down on his luck and all alone, except for this daughter. But when he receives word that his estranged separated wife, Kate, is dying of a chronic disease, he jumps at the chance to discover how much money she has. Yet in meeting her again and reconnecting with her, he begins fulfilling her final wishes and discovers that the two of them still have something in common. As Michael reads Kate books to honor her, their conversations turn to eternal things and nature of the afterlife. They must both make significant decisions that will impact their lives forever.
Production Quality (2 points)
After several years of struggling productions, the Kelly’s Filmworks team has finally discovered a winning formula. Though this film is entirely black and white, it definitely adds to the experience and makes it a unique standout. Video quality and audio quality are majorly improved from past films. Camera work is still artistic at times, but Jefferson and Kelly Moore have finally embraced their true artistry. The original soundtrack is very interesting and creative. Sets and locations are somewhat limited in this film, but that is justified given the story. The biggest issue here is the editing, as there are one too many montages. Yet in the end, the production of Reading Kate demonstrates real improvement and gives great hope for the future.
Plot and Storyline Quality (1 point)
After several years of dead-end plots, Jefferson and Kelly Moore have finally discovered who they truly are as film makers, and this is reflected in the characters they play. They have embraced their personalities and have let them flow into the dialogue of these characters. This dialogue builds them into realistic people that we can connect with and relate to. However, the overuse of montages keeps us from getting to know these characters at a deeper level, which is sometimes we would have liked to see happen in this film. Yet nonetheless, Reading Kate is an honest, character-driven story that draws on the true talents of Jefferson and Kelly Moore. There is some dry comedy throughout, yet some of it is funny. It offers a unique Christian message and intriguing psychological elements that make the viewer think. Though the ending is somewhat abrupt, yet also thought-provoking. In the end, while there is still a little work to do, we are excited about the direction the Moores have chosen to go with their plots.
Acting Quality (2.5 points)
Though this film utilizes many of the typical Kelly’s Filmworks actors and actresses, there demonstrate significant improvement in their performances. This is actually the most improved category, as Jefferson Moore sheds his old personas and trades them for an embracing of his true self. Kelly Moore also finally demonstrates her acting talents that we never had a good chance to see before. Two-character conversation films are hard to effectively act in, but the two of them work well together. Though there are some minor line delivery issues that keep this section form being perfect, this is still something to be excited about.
Sometimes it takes film companies a little longer than others to find themselves and to find where they fit in the industry. Though we have been critical of the work of the Moores in the past, the good thing is that they did not give up and kept trying. The progression of 1 Message, Pieces of Easter, and now Reading Kate demonstrates concerted improvement, which is all we ask of film makers. Now that the older days of low-quality films are behind them, we can’t wait to see what the Moores have in store next.
Final Rating: 5.5 out of 10 points