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Andreas_N
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Joshua's Heart (1990)
02. Feb 2006 at 11:19
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Joshua's Heart is written by Susan Cuscuna and directed by Micheal Pressman (two-time Emmy Award Winner for Picket Fences). It is an engrossing family drama starring Melissa Gilbert-Brinkman, Tim Matheson (The West Wing) and Lisa Eilbacher (An Officer and a Gentleman) and featuring an amazingly assured performance by child actor Matthew Lawrence (Mrs. Doubtfire).

Claudia Casara (Gilbert) is an advertising executive and children's book author. When she meets Tom (Matheson) it is love at first sight. Tom's 10-year-old son Joshua (Lawrence) is used to new female faces and his father's changing relationships and expects Claudia to be another short-term acquaintance. When Claudia moves in she slowly gets to know this lonely little boy aching to love someone and to have a thoughtful parent around. She is the only one who spots Joshua's deep unhappiness behind the confident facade he presents to the world. The two of them forge an intense bond and Claudia realizes that she has started to love Joshua as if he were her own son. When Tom starts to meet another woman and with Joshua's real mother Kit (Eilbacher) making an appearance and claiming her rights for her son, Claudia is faced with a heart rending dilemma. Should she fight to keep Joshua in her life, or should she let go of him and risk breaking his heart along with her own.

As with most outstanding dramas the story and the cast make up the basic quality. The story of Joshua's Heart is the story of love, the struggle to find happiness and to be together with those you honestly care for. It is also the story of responsibility and trust in a world that has become increasingly artificial and negligent of genuine moral virtues. Through her relationship with Tom and her growing affection towards Joshua, Claudia finds out about the real miracles of life and her own dreams and emotions. The story is simple but very emotional and drags the audience very much into the ensuing struggles of Joshua and Claudia. It is a drama that addresses the issue of how much you are allowed to love someone you are not related to, how unaffected this love can be and how much you gain from such a relationship.

At the outset Claudia is very much focused on her career. Joshua somehow manages to open her eyes and to make it into her heart with his enchanting personality. Her relationship with Tom – despite apparently passionate and sincere – never gains this kind of emotional depth Claudia expects. Tom lies to her and takes advantage of her naivety. Thus Claudia projects her desire to have someone to care for and to love her unaffectedly into Joshua, a 10-year-old boy. While you might question her means and her obsession to have Joshua as the embodiment of her romantic yearnings, her intentions are genuine and not be challenged. She wants to protect him and to be the kind of mother he never had.

Joshua's response to her love is the main issue and the real emotional highlight of the movie. He is the one who carries the burden of being left alone with babysitters and having no-one to talk to. Matthew Lawrence is very assured and plays his character in an outstandingly persuasive manner. He never makes his relationship with Claudia appear corny or phony. He portrays his character's sensibility and the emotional struggle with shining decency that grants his performance with substantial quality. His emotional implications are due to the fact that he has never had a real mother to care for him, and hence the amount of love and trust he feels towards Claudia is authentic and perfectly understandable.

Kit, Joshua's real mother, is portrayed as a person who has the best intentions, but who was too inexperienced and too naive to live up to the responsibilities of being a parent. Now as she comes back she tries very hard to establish a real bond towards Joshua, who is eventually willing to give her a second chance and let her into his life again.

The bond between Claudia and Joshua is very strong. Both their lives have changed forever, and this makes the movie so pervasive. It is the story of how people can enrich each other's lives and how much they can grow from a relationship of mutual understanding and affection. Joshua experiences the warmth within a large family when he comes to Claudia's clan on Christmas, and Claudia finally finds out what she really wants in life and that Joshua's story also makes a good children's book. Life is about experiences and finding your true self in the course of them. Although painful and emotionally challenging, the relationship between Claudia and Joshua affirms this premise of life. The performances by Matthew Lawrence and Melissa Gilbert make Joshua's Heart a warm, tender and instructive tale of how painful love can be, but also of how much we can gain.
« Last Edit: 06. Jul 2008 at 20:08 by Zabladowski »  
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Re: Joshua's Heart (1990, TV)
Reply #1 - 29. Apr 2007 at 16:52
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Re: Joshua's Heart (1990, TV)
Reply #2 - 29. Apr 2007 at 17:58
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Just happened to notice that this boy actor, Matthew Lawrence, wasn't in many films except for those made for television.  We know him best for his role in "Mrs. Doubtfire", yet "Joshua's Heart" is also a very good movie for one filmed by a western world television network.


« Last Edit: 06. Jul 2008 at 20:08 by Zabladowski »  
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Re: Joshua's Heart (1990, TV)
Reply #3 - 29. Apr 2007 at 21:40
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He was so cute in that movie because he was 10, how cute!
  
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