A Mind of Her Own


Action / Drama

IMDb Rating 5.9 10 94

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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by tollini 9 / 10

a Truly Moving Picture

I am a judge for the Indianapolis-based Heartland Film Festival. This feature film is a Crystal Heart Award Winner and is eligible to be the Grand Prize Winner in October of 2005. The Heartland Film Festival is a non-profit that honors Truly Moving Pictures. A Truly Moving Picture "…explores the human journey by artistically expressing hope and respect for the positive values of life."

The life of Sophie Smith in England is traced from childhood in 1989 to a young woman in 2005. She has two dreams. One is to be a champion gymnast. The other dream is to be a medical Doctor. While she is quite talented as gymnast, her dream is cut short by an injury. So she turns her attention full time to her second dream.

Unfortunately she has severe learning disabilities and has awful problems in her school studies. And that's where the story really begins. She has to work twice as hard as everyone else, and even with this kind of effort, she often fails. Despite all of her numerous failures, she simply persists with a little help from her friends.

This film is based on a true story of a woman who ultimately achieves worldwide scientific fame. As a young girl and young woman, we witness her extraordinary hope and sacrifice and humility and faith.

This is inspirational storytelling.

FYI – There is a Truly Moving Pictures web site where there is a listing of past Crystal Heart winners that are now either at the theater or available on video.

Reviewed by tendernesstour 3 / 10

Another View Of This Heartland Premiere

A Mind of Her Own" is described as "the poignant and moving story of Sophie, a determined young girl whose ambition to become a doctor is obstructed by the fact that she is severely dyslexic" in its marketing materials and in advertisements from the 2005 Heartland Film Festival.

Poignant and moving? Try boring and uninspiring.

"A Mind of Her Own" takes one woman's inspirational story and somehow manages to reduce the source material to a histrionic After School special. Owen Carey Jones writes and directs this film in such a way that I found myself uninvolved in Sophie's life and not even remotely caring that her brilliance in paralysis research may in fact benefit me. I would rather stay paralyzed than have to sit through this film, which left me emotionally paralyzed and unable to continue at Heartland last evening. That's right...the film was so lifeless that I found myself exhausted and unable to continue to the next round of films.

The film stars Nicky Talacko, who also starred in Carey's other film, "Baby Blue." Talacko is a UK native, currently residing in Australia. Mostly, her background is theatrical with some television work and independent film work. Talacko is definitely more suited to a television screen. Her performance seems to waver in and out, almost in sound bytes. A good cinematic performance involves the journey of the character...one can clearly see the connection between beginning and end. Even if that journey doesn't make sense, it is there. This film seems like a series of scenes, disconnected even though they are, in fact, quite connected. Talacko's performance lacks energy, lacks focus and her dialogue is monotonous.

The same is true for the rest of the cast, with the exception of Amanda Rawnsley, who plays her friend Becky. Rawnsley has a natural screen presence, and is endearing and affectionate in her scenes of support and devotion.

Yet, I'm not sure what the performers could do here...the script is insipid, the dialogue stilted and the film's pacing utterly lifeless. I was willing to surrender to the inspiration of the story itself, despite the fact that I was hearing lines like Sophie's biology teacher saying "you're the most determined person I've ever met", even though Sophie'd just been complaining about her "disability" and had walked out of a classroom. However, the true detachment came when Sophie, finally having graduated with a Bachelors Degree is able to "date" this same biology teacher who had also taught her as a substitute in high school and discovered her dyslexia. So, in reality, the wonder of this teacher actually helping his student turned into teacher helping a cute student, secretly lusting after her and finally being able to go out with her after done teaching her.

One word. Ick.

In short, everything about "A Mind of Her Own" plays like an Afterschool Special, and not even a good one. A stunning, wonderful and inspiring story is reduced to histrionic crap.

Personally, I've never found histrionic crap inspiring.

Reviewed by chrisjbunch 10 / 10

Truly inspirational

One of the greatest films ive seen in a while .determination conquers all.

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