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“If you’d asked me before about God and miracles I would’ve told you that neither existed at all.”
Synopsis: Winner of the 2013 Movie Guide’s Grace Award and Young Artist Award, both by Kyla Kenedy; Raising Izzie is the touching story of two orphaned girls needing a mother and a caring school teacher who desperately wants children.
Gertie (Victoria Staley) and Izzie (Kyla Kenedy) lost their mother to cancer, and now fourteen-year-old Gertie is the woman of the house. Their mother left them set with family values they might not find in a foster home — that is, if they can stay undetected by their community and Gertie’s new teacher, Tonya Freeman (Vanessa Williams), who is not easily brushed off with questionable answers and falsified signatures. Her intuition leads her to believe something is off. She doesn’t want to make Gertie feel accusatory, but she is going to get the truth one way or another.
The back story is about finding God and keeping your faith in the midst of difficult situations. After losing both parents, Izzie and Gertie have opposing views on God and faith. Izzie, who vaguely remembers her mother, believes in God and the power of miracles. While Gertie, who can’t forget how hard she prayed for her mother and she didn’t live—does not.
Woven into this narrative is the fact that Tonya and her husband Greg are trying to determine why they can’t get pregnant. But when she and her husband, Greg (Rockmond Dunbar), get test results back indicating they can’t have children, she suggests adoption. Although he believes in the power of God, Greg has positive feelings until Tonya brings Gertie and Izzie home to stay with them after the girl’s apartment catches fire and they lose everything. Greg’s sentiments begin to change when Tonya suggests keeping the girls. But his ultimate decision comes after Tonya is hit by a car and remains in a coma. Which unexpectedly places them in the throes of a new family mix, and having to come to terms with grief, the hurt and bitterness of loss, and faith as they wonder what God has planned. Will Greg have a change of heart? Will Gertie change her mind about God? Will Tonya come out of the coma? You will just have to watch the movie to find out.
Raising Izzie was released in 2012 is 88 min and can be seen on Prime Video and Pureflix.
We give Raising Izzie
Raising Izzie is a very positive yet intense film, that explores the heartfelt issues of faith and family. It is well-acted and intelligent with a prevalent faith-based agenda that addresses two issues: Children who have lost a parent and struggled with grief and couples who have spent years trying to conceive and question God, Parents should watch with guidance and caution and be prepared with a box of Kleenex. And also be mindful of the questions or discussions that could generate from children where they may need lots of reassurance and explanations.
This is a sincerely excellent film. Not only is it well written, well-acted, and contains a wonderful storyline. But, Raising Izzie also shows a child how he/she can persevere through loss. And that loss should never be used as an excuse for giving up on life or its responsibilities. But ultimately be a catalyst for them to persevere.
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