I am a great admirer of the artist Thomas Kinkade. Of all the art in the world, I would choose one of his amazing paintings if I could afford one. They touch my heart and soul in a way that brings me so much joy.
Consequently, when I heard that a movie was being made about how Kinkade found his fabulous technique for painting, I could not resist seeing it. The film is called “Christmas Cottage.”
Television actor Jared Padalecki plays a young Kinkade who returns from college to his small hometown when his mother needs his help. Maryanne Kinkade, played by Marcia Gay Harden, is about to lose her home, the place where Tom grew up.
He is also excited to see his mentor and friend, artist Glen Wessler, played by Peter O’Toole. However, he is surprised to see how much his friend’s health is failing and spends as much as time with him in order to soak up his wisdom.
One of the jobs that young Thomas takes on to raise money involves painting a mural on the wall of a town building. At first, he isn’t certain what to paint. Even after he finally begins, he still can’t get the picture to say what he wants it to express. Eventually, however, he decides to add members of the town into the picture in order to bring it alive.
Kinkade continues to struggle to find his place in the artistic world. But something that his mentor says strikes a cord in his mind and puts the young artist on the road of light that would eventually make him famous.
This isn’t a great movie. It really isn’t a particularly good movie. However, it has some very good moments within in it that makes the film well worth seeing.
Padalecki, best known for his role as a demon hunter on TV’s “Supernatural” puts his natural talent to good work. He is an up and coming actor that I think we will eventually see more and more of on both the large and small screens.
O’Toole is beyond impressive in the role of the aging Glen Wessler. Every nuance of his performance is carefully weighed and perfectly acted.
Harden continues to prove that she is an accomplished actress. She is capable of playing a variety of roles with equal ease and grace.
Ken LaZebnick penned the screenplay based on Kinkade’s life. Of course, only Kinkade himself knows how accurate the story really is. However, I suspect it is it remarkably true to life. While it has moments of boredom, much like any small town does, it also has moments of pure pleasure.
Michael Campus directs the movie with a gentle guiding hand in order to get good performances out of his actors. He succeeds in doing just that, although the film might have fared better under a slightly heavier hand.
While this movie is unlikely to become a classic, it does give the public a glimpse into Kinkade’s life as well as his passion for art. For me, that is more than enough.
I give this film three out of five stars. I consider it a must see for all Kinkade fans.
RATING SCALE USED:
0 = A stinker. Don’t waste the money!
1 = Bad. Rent it at your own risk.
2 = Below average. See only if you have time to kill.
2.5 = Average. A toss up.
3 = Good. Worth a looksee.
3.5 = Very Good. I recommend it.
4 = Excellent. Don’t miss it!
4.5 = Outstanding. What are you waiting for?
5 = Destined to become a classic. You will be sorry if you don’t see it.