Release Date: June 11, 2013
Rating: NR(But most likely G)
Run Time: 88 minutes
Director: Michael Landon Jr.
Cast: Steve Boles, Ray Collins, Al Curl, Katie Leclerc, Julia Whelan, Cameron Deane Stewart, Sherry Stringfield,
In case you haven’t guessed yet, The Confession, Beverly Lewis’ second installment in the Heritage of Lancaster County trilogy, is a Hallmark Original Movie starring an Amish protagonist. That alone should speak volumes about this film. However, before you start rushing to judgments it may pay to give this film a second look. Some viewers may find this simple story much more compelling, and perhaps a bit more relatable, than it appears. Others, of course, may find exactly what they expected to see.
Out tale begins with Katie Lapp (Katie Leclerc, Switched At Birth), a young girl raised in an Amish family, who has recently entered the modern world to search for her biological mother (Sherry Stringfield). Her search proves rather difficult, as the sweet, naïve Katie is unaccustomed to life outside her rural community. Luckily, her tech-savvy roommate knows how to use Google, and informs Katie that her mother is a wealthy socialite in the midst of a battle with cancer. Hoping to meet her mother before it’s too late; Katie rushes to her stately manner, but discovers to her dismay that an imposter has already taken her place. It appears her would-be stepfather (Adrian Paul) has orchestrated this ruse as a means to rob Katie of her inheritance, and only with the help of an old love (Cameron Deane Stewart) can the truth finally come to light.
The Confession has largely been billed as a “family-friendly” movie, and that is where it gets the majority of its strength. The movie is suitable for all audiences, and even with a G to PG rating, it performs well enough to keep its viewers invested. The acting is well done, the whole cast taking to their roles with a refreshing amount of passion, and the scenery has a bright, vibrant, texture. Like all hallmark movies, the story’s ending is never in doubt, and the plot aims to be positive throughout the movie. Unfortunately, this is where things become problematic.
The movie suffers from a mountain of non-sequiturs, most of which are never really addressed. Why did Katie’s mother leave her with an Amish family? How could she have been unprepared to raise a child when she’s living on a wealthy, ancestral estate? How could someone with all her resources possibly fail to find her adopted daughter? Why would the Amish not understand the concept of a one-way street?
Even Katherine’s excuse of a sheltered, Amish upbringing doesn’t quite justify all of her choices. In one scene, upon arriving at her mother’s estate, Katie is mistaken for a maid and put to work polishing silver for the night’s party. It’s hard to believe that a young girl who left behind her entire community to find her birthmother would take a detour to polish silverware on said mother’s doorstep. The movie also initiates a bizarre, pseudo-love triangle that chooses to wait for a third installment to get resolved. Aside from being anticlimactic, this also raises more questions in an already bewildering story.
Amish romance is a pretty niche market, and it is unlikely The Confession will attract many viewers from outside that crowed. Still, by itself, Beverly Lewis second film will please fans with a strong message of love and new hope
Language: Squeaky clean
Drugs/Alcohol: A man drinks from a flask, champagne.
Violence: Some talk of breaking kneecaps, a woman dies peacefully in bed of illness.
Religion/Morals: Christian faith is central to the movie and most of the characters are Christian, a man has a gambling addiction and routinely lies to his wife.