Reviewed by: Brett Willis
This 1999 sequel to the original “Sarah Plain and Tall” and “Skylark” is set six years after the previous episode; the original Witting family characters and the actors who play them are all still here.
Jacob and Sarah (Christopher Walken, Glenn Close) now have a young daughter Cassie (Emily Osment); Caleb (Christopher Bell) is almost a man; Anna (Lexi Randall) is a nurse treating victims of the influenza epidemic of 1918, and her boyfriend (the son of the doctor she works for) is fighting in World War I. Jacob’s father John (Jack Palance), who deserted his family when Jacob was just a boy, arrives at the farm in an apparent search for some form of reconciliation. And, there’s a late-spring blizzard on the way.
In the tradition of the other episodes, all of the above topics are handled with a restraint that is very rare in films these days. Though it’s a little scarier than previous episodes (John is made to appear more like a bandit than an estranged family member when he first shows up, and there’s a brief struggle between John and Jacob), it’s still family-friendly. And although the film is not explicitly Christian, a central element of this episode is the importance of forgiveness. I recommend every episode in this series.
Year of Release—1999