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'Puzzle' is Well Made, but a Few Pieces are Missing

MOVIE REVIEW
Based on the film Rompecabezas, Puzzle is one of those little-known independent films that sneaks into theaters with little to no fanfare, although the fact that it is being promoted “from the producer of Little Miss Sunshine” should help it get noticed somewhat. Puzzle is a quiet, little film about a woman who discovers that jigsaw puzzles are the key to changing her life. While the subject matter doesn’t sound all that exciting, the film really isn’t about puzzles but instead about one finding their voice, or so it appears. It’s also a message film that has its own agenda expecting the audience to agree with the choices of the main character and applaud her “brave” behavior. Frankly, it just feels manipulative.

Directed by Marc Turtletaub, Puzzle’s most impactful scene comes within the first few minutes. We see Agnes (Kelly MacDonald) cleaning up the house and they decorating it for a birthday party. Then we see her serving appetizers while being ignored by the guests. …

‘October Baby’ is a Surprise Hit


John Scheider stars in "October Baby."

By now you’ve probably heard that Lionsgate film, “The Hunger Games” not only came in first place for top movie sales for the week of March 25, but that it won by a landslide. “The Hunger Games” made $155 million over the weekend with “21 Jump Street” a distant second with only $21.3. But what you may not have heard was that “October Baby,” the little film that could, came in number eight for the weekend. Its little amount of $1.7 million may seem small compared to the big guys, but consider these facts:

  • According to Box Office Mojo, “The Hunger Games” opened in about 10 times as many theaters as the 390 theaters for “October Baby.”
  • “October Baby” was ranked number one for limited-release movies.
  • Promotion for “October Baby” was mainly done through word-of-mouth.
In support of its life-affirming theme, “Baby” producers have assigned 10 percent of the film’s profits to the Every Life Is Beautiful Fund. The money will be distributed to organizations helping women face crisis pregnancies, to life-affirming adoption agencies and agencies caring for orphans.

 Another surprise, at least to the Jon Erwin, Co-Director and Co-Writer of the film, was that it has quickly become a “lightning rod” for those for and against abortion. “We never aimed to make a political film or villainize anyone, only to humanize—to tell a person’s story,” Erwin said of the film. “The point was never to give answers but to ask penetrating questions and to start conversations; from all we’re hearing, October Baby hits its mark.”

“October Baby” is about a 19-year-old woman who not only discovers that she has been adopted, but that she is also a survivor of a botched abortion. “October Baby” may be the most important film I’ve ever been in,” says actor John Scheider who plays a father in the film. The cast also includes Jasmine Guy and newcomers Rachel Hendrix and Jason Burkey.

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