Reviewed by: Polly
Starring: Ellen Burstyn, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Mark Hamill, Judge Reinhold, Gail O'Grady | Directed by: Arthur A. Seidelman | Produced by: Heath McLaughlin, Bettina O'Mara | Written by: Paul Tamasy
“Walking Across Egypt” is a wonderful story about an aging woman, Maddie (Ellen Burstyn), who hears her pastor preach on “What you do to the least of these, you do to me” and takes him seriously. She decides to visit a boy, Wesley (Jonathan Taylor Thomas) in a local rehabilitation center for youth, where he resides for stealing a car. He is a foul-mouthed societal reject, abandoned at birth. He eventually takes advantage of the relationship and escapes from the center, lying to Maddie to get her to let him stay with her. While he is there he enjoys her home cooking, her bathtub, learns to fish and swim and steals her money. When the law finally catches up with him, both Maddie and Wesley have some serious thinking to do.
The language is questionable, but so is the character. The movie is wonderful because it doesn’t make Maddie’s Christianity sound flaky or sentimental. She is so real, even when she comes into conflict with her own daughter, who says the Bible is only a book of stories and asks, “Doesn’t it say when to stop?!” Maddie isn’t shaken. She just says, “No!”
This movie isn’t for anyone who is sensitive to language and there are a couple of scenes where the boys fight with knives and discuss killing each other. As far as the story, though, it’s one of the best I’ve seen in a while.