The Looking Glass, a First Run Features movie
The plot of this movie is one that has been used many times before, yet perhaps not as effectively. For the ending is emotional and filled with ambiguities.
Julie is a 13-year-old girl that has lost her mother and her father has remarried to a woman that may not be all that bad, but Julie does not get along with her. In what appears to be a mutual decision, Julie goes to live with her aged grandmother. The setting is a somewhat rural area of Indiana and her grandmother is a former star of stage and screen that had a great singing voice.
At first, granddaughter and grandmother do not get along very well, even though she does not get along with her father and his wife, Julie feels very much an outsider in her new environment. When the grandmother discovers Julie singing along to one of her recordings, she convinces Julie to audition for the main part in an elaborate musical play based on a classic children’s tale.
It quickly becomes clear that Julie has inherited both the musical and stage talents of her grandmother as she easily wins the part of the female lead. For the first time in a long while, Julie is now doing something she loves and the relationship she has with her grandmother grows very tight.
In one of the best pieces of advice Julie or any other person could ever receive, her grandmother tells her a story from her youth and how it led her to vow to always perform for herself, even when other people simply do not care. Backed by this and some other advice from the veteran performer, Julie literally and figuratively finds her voice.
Yet, the ending is more than a little ambiguous, for the grandmother develops a heart condition and there are other revelations that lead to other complexities that should be resolved. Viewers that like tight and unambiguous endings may find that disappointing.
Although this movie goes at a slow pace at first, the complete context is developed. Every point that is made is important in building to the climactic scenes in the life of Julie.
This video was made available for free for review purposes