We rented the 1962 Academy award winning film “The Miracle Worker.” I’m sure I had seen it at some point as a young child, but my impressions from it now as an adult were quite distinct. True, the performances for Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan were worthy of their award, but it was hard to compensate the distracting performances by the rest of the cast, which generally felt over the top and superficial, especially in the case of the parents. This lead an overall lack of cohesiveness about the production of this film that proved to be hard to overlook.
However, my children (to my surprise) sat through the film with us, even with us analyzing it out loud. Of course, they had questions as they tried to figure out what was wrong with Helen and how it would be to have to live with out sight or hearing. The montage and flashback sequences were disorienting to the kids, so they had questions about what was happening during those parts of the movie as well. Ultimately, it wasn’t the best presentation of an otherwise extremely fascinating story, but it was still worth the experience of having the family discussions that resulted.
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