Reviewed by: Daniel Thompson
When should parents tell a child about their adoption?
A comment is made in the film about hating the crime, not the criminal.
You have the power to forgive, only in forgiveness can one be free.
|Featuring:||Rachel Hendrix … Hannah
Jason Burkey … Jason
John Schneider … Jacob
Jasmine Guy … Nurse Mary
|Director:||Andrew Erwin, Jon Erwin|
|Distributor:||Samuel Goldwyn Films, Provident Films|
“Every life is beautiful.”
19 year old Hannah is in for quite a shock, and it’s going to change her life. After having serious health problems for most of her life, it is revealed to Hannah by her parents that she is adopted. Not only is she adopted, but she is also the result of a failed abortion. This stunning news sets into motion a series of events that leads Hannah on a journey to find her birth mother, as well as herself. Why did this happen to her? Why was this kept from her for so long? Who was her birth mother? These questions are the beginning of Hannah’s emotional and spiritual journey in “October Baby”, a Christian film by brothers Andrew and Jon Erwin. The film is made in the same vein as Sherwood Church films like “Facing the Giants” and “Fireproof”. Needless to say, fans of those films will be thrilled with “October Baby” and its wonderful pro-life message.
While “October Baby” is a decidedly Christian film, it is also rated PG-13. This rating is mostly because of the very delicate subject matter of abortion. Also, the film portrays college students on a road trip. While nothing graphic is said or seen, one student references having too much to drink the previous night. That conversation shows clear consequences for his actions. The film is probably not appropriate for younger children, but completely appropriate for anyone who understands and can handle the thematic elements at play.
Technically speaking, “October Baby” showcases several aspects of excellent filmmaking. First and foremost, the film has an excellent feel to it. Even though it is clear that the budget was small, the Erwin brothers make the most of their locale by using more close up shots, which fit well with the intimate subject matter of the film. The lead actors in the film all deliver admirable performances, particularly Rachel Hendrix as Hannah. Hendrix has the difficult job of showcasing a range of emotions that most human beings never experience in a lifetime, and, for the most part, she is successful. John Schneider is perfectly cast as Jacob, Hannah’s father. Also noteworthy is the brief, albeit important, part of Nurse Mary played by Jasmine Guy. Guy is a veteran actor, and gets the most from her limited screen time.
Like many Christian films, “October Baby” is plagued with some issues that are common in movies made with smaller budgets. The supporting cast, while amiable, is clearly in over their heads with a movie of this emotional depth. Former “American Idol” contestant and current Christian musician Chris Sligh plays B-Mac, who is meant for comic relief. While Sligh is a talented musician with a great voice (some of his songs are used in the soundtrack), he is clearly new to acting. The script does not help the green supporting cast, either. The screenwriters try their best to add levity to a very deep, moving picture, but most attempts at humor fall flat. Fortunately, these unsuccessful attempts do not detract from the film’s important, life-changing message.
The message of “October Baby” is made completely clear, and it is one of utmost importance. People matter. Life is sacred. God has given us the precious gift of life, and we should not take it lightly. With this message at its core, the film packs an affecting, earnest, and emotional wallop. No one can argue the sincerity on display, and no one who goes in open-minded will leave unchanged. For this reason, “October Baby” deserves the complete support of Christian audiences around the nation and around the world.
Violence: Minor / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: Minor
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.