"The Last Winter," reviewed by Jennifer Anne Messing.
Family drama/Adventure. Rated PG. Recommended for family viewing, with kids of all ages. Check your favorite local and online movie rental stores, or the public library for availability.
"The Last Winter" is a one hour, forty-three minute, Aaron Kim Johnston/National Film Board of Canada 1989 movie release, in color, directed by Aaron Kim Jonhston, starring Gerard Parkes, David Ferry, Wanda Canon, Marsha Moreau, and introducing Joshua Murray. This heartwarming story of a young boy facing the difficulties of growing up takes place in rural Canada in the mid-1950s.
"The Last Winter" begins when 12-year-old William Jamison (Joshua Murray) learns that his father, Ross Jamison (David Ferry), is currently applying for a job with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Willie does not want his father to get the job, because if he does their whole family will have to move to the city—and away from the comfortable, familiar country home and lifestyle that Willie has always known and loved. This move will even bring about a change in Willie’s relationship with his cousin Kate (Marsha Moreau), who has always lived nearby and whom he’s grown up close to.
Willie’s Grandpa Jack (Gerard Parkes) provides a source of comfort and friendship for Willie during this difficult time. Grandpa Jack has always lived with Willie’s family and has been Willie’s confidante since the time he was a young boy. Willie has often told his grandfather about a white horse he has seen in his dreams.
In the days ahead, Willie faces more uncertainty in his changing relationship with his cousin Kate and also experiences some hostility and antagonism from his schoolmates. Soon after, Willie learns that his father gets the job and that his family is going to the city the next day to sign a lease on their new home.
The pressure from everything happening at once, combined with Willie’s relationship difficulties at school, cause him to do something unexpected and drastic. Then some life-changing events occur which deeply impact Willie and which force him to grow up and mature.
"The Last Winter" is an engaging family drama that has something to interest adults and children of all ages. One of its main themes is that of accepting change that life brings us all at various times and, when we are younger, is even an important part of growing up. Just as one cannot stop the seasons from changing, there are certain changes that come into our lives that we cannot stop, therefore it is beneficial for our mental, emotional, and physical well-being to be able to process change in a healthy way. There is a Bible verse (Ecclesiastes 3:1) which states, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”
"The Last Winter" is a Canadian-produced film and there are certain subtle differences in it that distinguish it from American-made films. It makes fine use of symbolism and imagery, giving the film an almost poetic feel. The dialogue is many times understated rather than “in your face,” leaving the viewer to have to think about what is really being said through what was left unsaid. Parents may want to ask their child what he or she thinks the white horse which often appears in Willie’s dreams symbolized? There is more than one answer to that question, and the discussion ensuing can be interesting and thought-provoking.
"The Last Winter" offers fine family entertainment anytime. Grab a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and enjoy!
* * *
If you enjoy reading about classic movies and want to be notified when a new movie review is posted by this author, please select the "Subscribe" button at the top of this page. Feel free to leave a comment in the appropriate box below.
"The Last Winter" (1989) in VHS format can be rented at Movie Madness, 4320 SE Belmont, Portland, Oregon, 97215, tel. 503-234-4363.
* * *
Author, poet, speaker and singer Jennifer Anne F. Messing of Portland, Oregon, is a wife, and mother of three children. She has a bachelor's degree in Christian Education, a Diploma in Journalism and Short Story Writing, and a Certificate in Computer Secretarial. A past president of the Oregon Christian Writers, Jennifer Anne has over 200 articles, movie reviews, and poems published in 60 magazines and books, including The Christian Journal, Evangel, LIVE, Standard, Bible Advocate, Christian Fiction Online and Nudges from God. Her poetry gift book, "MORNING'S PROMISE: Poetic Moments in His Presence" is now available in trade paperback and e-book (Kindle) format. CLICK HERE TO ORDER, or find more information on her website: www.JenniferAnneMessing.com.
Facebook: Jennifer Anne F. Messing
Linkedin: Jennifer Anne F. Messing
CLICK HERE TO BUY Jennifer Anne Messing's new poetry gift book, "Morning's Promise: Poetic Moments in His Presence" (print or e-book) from Amazon.
CLICK HERE TO BUY "Morning's Promise: Poetic Moments in His Presence" print book from Ellechor Publishing:
CLICK HERE TO VIEW / READ SAMPLE PAGES FROM "Morning's Promise: Poetic Moments in His Presence" by Jennifer Anne F. Messing.