BRUSH WITH FATE Add To My Top 10

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Release Date: January 01, 1970

Starring: Glenn Close, Ellen Burstyn, Thomas Gibson, Phyllida Law, Kelly MacDonald, and Patrick Bergin

Genre: Drama

Audience: Older children to
adults REVIEWER: Dr. Ted
Baehr Based on a famous book,
BRUSH WITH FATE opens with the
new art teacher Richard at a
private school being
introduced to the other
teachers. He takes an interest
in a bespectacled history
teacher named Cornelia, played
wonderfully by Glenn Close.
She introduces him to her
father who's a quadriplegic
and takes him inside their
house to see a shrine she has
constructed in front of a
painting that she says is a
forgotten Vermeer. Richard
says this could be a forgery
or by a student of Vermeer, so
to prove that it is a Vermeer
she has to have papers of
ownership. She digs out lots
of papers and starts to tell
the story of the previous
owners, working backwards from
1880 Holland to Vermeer
himself. Each one of these
stories is superb in its
production and the moral
lessons it teaches. In the
first, an old Dutchman named
Lorenz is infatuated with this
Vermeer painting of a little
girl in blue. His infatuation
comes to a head when his wife
confronts him about it, so he
tells the story of his
unrequited love during his
teenage years. He had bought
the Vermeer for a young lady
who died tending to the health
of her aunt. That story leads
to the story of the couple who
sold it to the shop. They were
a poor farm family whose farm
was literally under water
because the dykes had burst.
During the crises of the
flood, the wife is so
infatuated with the Vermeer
that she disobeys her husband
secretly and refuses to sell
it. Instead, she consumes all
the seed potatoes until she is
found out by her family. That
story leads to 1716. A young
serving girl infatuated with
the Vermeer works in the home
of a Dutch slave trader. When
the nephew visits, he strikes
up an affair with her. She
gives birth to two children,
the baby girl she buries alive
and is hanged for doing so.
The boy takes the baby boy and
the Vermeer and leaves them at
the cottage of the farmer
family in the previous
story. This takes the movie
back to 1671 where an old
woman bids at an auction on
the Vermeer. Unknown to anyone
attending the auction, she is
Vermeer's daughter and the
girl in the painting. The
movie flashes back to Vermeer
as a penniless artist. He
trades his paintings for
scraps of bread and is always
begging his mother-in-law for
money. He has sired several
children in wedlock, causing
his addled brother-in-law to
fear that Vermeer is diluting
the family fortune between all
the children. One day Vermeer
comes home to find the
brother-in-law beating his
sister, Vermeer's wife, using
a club with a nail sticking
out of it, in order to try to
abort her next baby. The
brother-in-law is thrown into
a private asylum. Back to the
present, Richard asks Cornelia
where she got the Vermeer.
Evidently it belonged to a
Jewish family in Holland at
the beginning of World War II.
Cornelia's father was a Nazi
officer who confiscated the
Vermeer and sent the family,
including the little boy, off
to the gas chambers. Richard
is shocked that the father
would have placed more value
on the painting than the human
beings. This movie is
captivating. The people
mesmerized by the Vermeer are
clearly Romantics. They put
the ideal of art above food,
shelter and even human life.
Richard asks the questions
that unlock the stories,
"Isn't human life worth more?"
and what are the moral
responsibilities of Cornelia's
father and the others. She
condemns Richard for being a
small-minded bourgeois when
actually he's just expressing
the essence of biblical
virtue: the commands to love
God and to love our neighbor
as ourselves. The accents in
this movie are superb. Someone
who had just been in Amsterdam
walked into the screening room
and said these people sound
Dutch. The costumes are
historically accurate. Brent
Shields, the director, has an
incredible eye for detail. The
scripting is tight and
intriguing, and the movie
stars two of the best
actresses alive today, Glenn
Close and Ellen
Burstyn. Congratulations to
Hallmark for doing such a
wonderful television
movie. Please address your
comments to: David Evans,
President/CEO Hallmark
Entertainment Network 6430
South Fiddlers Green
Circle Suite 500 Englewood, CO
80111 Phone: (303)
220-7990 Fax: (303)
220-7660 Website:
www.hallmarknetwork.com Email:
[email protected]

Rating: Not Rated

Runtime: 90 minutes

Address Comments To:

Content:

(C, BB, VV, A, D, M) Light Christian worldview with a strong moral theme that refutes Romanticism; no foul language; several intense violent scenes including woman buries her baby, woman is hung for murdering her baby, man beats a pregnant woman with a stick with a nail sticking out of it, people almost drown when a dyke breaks, family is on the verge of starvation; upper male nudity when men try to repair dyke; alcohol use; smoking; and, people become infatuated with a work of art, lying, coveting, and stealing.

GENRE: Drama

C

BB

VV

A

D

M

Summary:

Based on a famous book, BRUSH WITH FATE is a Hallmark Hall of Fame production about the revealing history behind the ownership of a painting by Vermeer. This story is captivating, with superb acting and direction and a strong moral theme.

Review:

Based on a famous book, BRUSH WITH FATE opens with the new art teacher Richard at a private school being introduced to the other teachers. He takes an interest in a bespectacled history teacher named Cornelia, played wonderfully by Glenn Close. She introduces him to her father who's a quadriplegic and takes him inside their house to see a shrine she has constructed in front of a painting that she says is a forgotten Vermeer. Richard says this could be a forgery or by a student of Vermeer, so to prove that it is a Vermeer she has to have papers of ownership. She digs out lots of papers and starts to tell the story of the previous owners, working backwards from 1880 Holland to Vermeer himself.

Each one of these stories is superb in its production and the moral lessons it teaches.

In the first, an old Dutchman named Lorenz is infatuated with this Vermeer painting of a little girl in blue. His infatuation comes to a head when his wife confronts him about it, so he tells the story of his unrequited love during his teenage years. He had bought the Vermeer for a young lady who died tending to the health of her aunt.

That story leads to the story of the couple who sold it to the shop. They were a poor farm family whose farm was literally under water because the dykes had burst. During the crises of the flood, the wife is so infatuated with the Vermeer that she disobeys her husband secretly and refuses to sell it. Instead, she consumes all the seed potatoes until she is found out by her family.

That story leads to 1716. A young serving girl infatuated with the Vermeer works in the home of a Dutch slave trader. When the nephew visits, he strikes up an affair with her. She gives birth to two children, the baby girl she buries alive and is hanged for doing so. The boy takes the baby boy and the Vermeer and leaves them at the cottage of the farmer family in the previous story.

This takes the movie back to 1671 where an old woman bids at an auction on the Vermeer. Unknown to anyone attending the auction, she is Vermeer's daughter and the girl in the painting.

The movie flashes back to Vermeer as a penniless artist. He trades his paintings for scraps of bread and is always begging his mother-in-law for money. He has sired several children in wedlock, causing his addled brother-in-law to fear that Vermeer is diluting the family fortune between all the children. One day Vermeer comes home to find the brother-in-law beating his sister, Vermeer's wife, using a club with a nail sticking out of it, in order to try to abort her next baby. The brother-in-law is thrown into a private asylum.

Back to the present, Richard asks Cornelia where she got the Vermeer. Evidently it belonged to a Jewish family in Holland at the beginning of World War II. Cornelia's father was a Nazi officer who confiscated the Vermeer and sent the family, including the little boy, off to the gas chambers. Richard is shocked that the father would have placed more value on the painting than the human beings.

This movie is captivating. The people mesmerized by the Vermeer are clearly Romantics. They put the ideal of art above food, shelter and even human life. Richard asks the questions that unlock the stories, "Isn't human life worth more?" and what are the moral responsibilities of Cornelia's father and the others. She condemns Richard for being a small-minded bourgeois when actually he's just expressing the essence of biblical virtue: the commands to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

The accents in this movie are superb. Someone who had just been in Amsterdam walked into the screening room and said these people sound Dutch. The costumes are historically accurate. Brent Shields, the director, has an incredible eye for detail. The scripting is tight and intriguing, and the movie stars two of the best actresses alive today, Glenn Close and Ellen Burstyn.

Congratulations to Hallmark for doing such a wonderful television movie.

Please address your comments to:

David Evans, President/CEO

Hallmark Entertainment Network

6430 South Fiddlers Green Circle

Suite 500

Englewood, CO 80111

Phone: (303) 220-7990

Fax: (303) 220-7660

Website: www.hallmarknetwork.com

Email: [email protected]

SUMMARY: Based on a famous book, BRUSH WITH FATE is a Hallmark Hall of Fame production about the revealing history behind the ownership of a painting by Vermeer. This story is captivating, with superb acting and direction and a strong moral theme.

In Brief: