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(2008 - USA)

Inspired by a true story, director Dennis Fallon's emotional family drama tells the tale of a family attempting to cope with a tragic loss, and a young girl who finds the strength in the last place she ever expected. Twelve year old Belle (Cardone) has just lost her mother in a horrible auto accident, and she places the blame for that loss squarely on the shoulders of her grieving father Cody (London). Unable to deal with his daughter's newfound rebellious streak and contend with his own sorrow at the same time, Cody sends Belle away to live with her grandfather Hock (Coyote), a genuine cowboy who lives by a strong code of ethics. But Hock is unable to look at Belle without thinking about his deceased daughter, a sad fact that only deepens the young girl's intense feelings of alienation. Just as Belle begins to feel as if there's no one in the world with whom to share her sadness, along comes a loyal pup named Atticus that helps her to focus on the positive things in life

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Cast

  • Vivien Cardone........................Belle Lawlor
  • Peter Coyote..........................Hock Banyon
  • Jason London......................................Cody
  • Peter Boyle.......................................Poovey

Credits

  • Directed by.............................Dennis Fallon
  • Written by........................Douglas Delaney
  • Music by............................... Korey Ireland
  • Cinematography by...............Fred Paddock
  • Runtime......................................119 minutes
  • Premiered............................January 27, 2008 at the Santa Barbara Int'l Film Festival
  • Released on DVD on January 13, 2009

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Film Festivals:

  • Santa Barbara International Film Festival - January 2008

  • LA International Family Film Festival - February 2008

  • Palm Beach International Film Festival - April 2008

Production Notes:

Kansas City was chosen as the shooting location because everyone at Waldo West Productions lives in the area along with the director and screenwriter. Director Dennis Fallon says his film is about a broken family and all the things they have to put together because of the death and the things they have to mend. Despite shooting on a luxurious horse farm and having a great cast, Fallon is proud of keeping his budget under three million. "When you see this film, you are going to be like, how in the world did you get all this for fewer than three million? Itís going to look great."

Doug Delaney, who penned the script, adds, "The real story is about wounded people and animals. It's very surprising how very indirectly they can heal each other." Delaney said Kansas City Executive Producer Charles W. Nelson helped tremendously in making his screen play a big production. He continues, "This movie's only being made because of Nelson's love for animals. This is a film the kids will like, and the adults will love."

Dove Foundation Review:
This film could be labeled as a sad film if it wasn't for the illumination that young actress Vivien Cardone brings to her role of Belle. Belle lost her mother in an automobile accident and it has affected everyone in her life, including her father and grandfather. Yet Belle's lively spirit and ability to adapt begins to slowly cause the others to reflect on their lives. She is a bit rebellious but she matures as the film moves along. She eventually helps her grandfather, who rejected her because she reminds him of his dead daughter, to make some kind of peace with the past. This is a dramtic piece but still, it manages some humor. A parrot in the story always says "Hello" when someone says good-bye to it, and "Good-bye" when someone says "Hello." The film does have some mild language and mature themes and so we recommend it for ages twelve and above.

The film was previously titled "Shadows of Atticus".

Reviews:

Sean P. Means, Salt Lake Tribune:
"
There's a race in this amateurish family drama to see whose memory is sullied more: that of Peter Boyle, who filmed his odd little side role before his death in December 2006, or that of the over-quoted "To Kill a Mockingbird."... Douglas Delaney's script overflows with Kansas corn, while director Dennis Fallon's pacing is so sluggish it often feels as if time were standing still."

Colin Coverat, Minneapolis Star Tribune:
"
Too cloying even for the 'My Little Pony' set, 'All Roads Lead Home' yanks at the heartstrings until it rips them right off the ventricle. Filmed with a generous budget but not much craft, it's a kitschy childhood dream of horse and doggie love intermingled with soap opera romance and family conflict among the story's adults. One can't be sure what the filmmakers intended, but they plainly miss their target."

David Frese, Kansas City Star:
"No one can argue the filmís intention - to provide a family film with a positive message. But the maudlin 'All Roads' is a little long and leans a little too heavily on 'To Kill a Mockingbird,' which everyone in the film seems to know by heart.Meanwhile, the narrative threads unspool wildly... Itís not that the film is too complicated, itís just unwieldy. Kudos, however, to the filmmakers for giving us a strong young heroine whose melancholy isnít easily cured. And itís good to see KC as the backdrop. But ultimately, ďAll Roads Lead HomeĒ is less a dramatic work than a homily for pet adoption."

Kerry Lengel, Arizona Republic:
"
Starting with the ominous caveat 'Inspired by a true story,' there is little indication that 'All Roads Lead Home' is going anywhere interesting. It opens in bucolic blandness, with a montage of picturesque pastures and frolicking equines, then veers quickly into melodrama... This is all pretty standard Hallmark Channel fare, right down to the gear-grinding plot devices and stilted dialogue... There is, however, a subtext of moral searching - focused on the issues of animal rights and euthanasia - that will elevate the film for some viewers and probably alienate others."

Jeff Vice, Desert News:
'All Roads Lead Home' is more hackneyed than it is heartwarming. It's considerably more annoying than it is enjoyable. The reasons for that assessment include the overlong movie's series of false endings and its series of treacly, false-note sentiments. Also, it's a confused muddle, and its often-confusing, contradictory messages leave you unclear about just what the filmmakers were trying to say. And despite having some name actors in its cast, the film is surprisingly amateurish, especially in terms of technical filmmaking."

Chris Hewitt, Pioneer Press:
"'All Roads Lead Home' is earnest, well-meaning and dreadful. The animal-rights melodrama gets off on the wrong foot by inviting comparison to a classic, "To Kill a Mockingbird'... The story meanders all over the place, as if the scenes were randomly edited together."

 

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