The Magic of Ordinary Days
|The Magic of Ordinary Days|
|Created by||Hallmark Hall of Fame|
|Directed by||Brent Shields|
|Produced by||Andrew Gottlieb|
|Written by||Ann Howard Creel (novel)
Camille Thomasson (adaption)
|Release date||January 30, 2005|
|Running time||120 minutes (inc. commercials)|
The Magic of Ordinary Days is a Hallmark Hall of Fame production based on a novel of the same name by Ann Howard Creel and adapted as a teleplay by Camille Thomasson. It was directed by Brent Shields, produced by Andrew Gottlieb and stars Keri Russell, Skeet Ulrich, and Mare Winningham.
In 1944 a young woman, Livvy Dunne (Keri Russell), who became pregnant before marriage, is sent to rural southeastern Colorado. Her father, Rev. Dunne (Daryl Shuttleworth), decides to deal with the situation by arranging her marriage to a shy farmer through another preacher. The groom, Ray Singleton (Skeet Ulrich), lives on a remote farm and is very different from Livvy. Ray focuses on what is close to him: his family, his land, and today. Livvy thinks on a much grander scale: the world, ancient civilizations, and faraway places.
Ray's farm utilizes the help of Japanese Americans from the nearby Japanese American internment camp, Amache. Livvy befriends two well-educated Japanese American women, Florence "Flory" and Rose Umahara (Tania Gunadi and Gwendoline Yeo). She finds comfort and familiarity in their friendship. Livvy is polite and civil to her new husband and his sister Martha (Mare Winningham), but she harbors feelings for the father of the baby, a World War II soldier, and feelings of guilt for the pregnancy. Ray, however, is caring, patient, and supportive of Livvy. Slowly, over time, the two come to understand and love each other and appreciate that though they are different, neither is better nor worse than the other.
The premiere broadcast on CBS in 2005 attracted 18.7 million viewers, making it the highest-rated television film since the 2001-2 season. According to the author of the original novel, "as of early 2009, the screenplay for a sequel has been written and approved. Hallmark Hall of Fame is waiting for principal actors to become available to begin production and filming."
If only TV movies this good were ordinary events....Days does sometimes stress a link between "country" and "uncomplicated" that probably never existed. But underneath the contrasts between Ray's simple ways and Livvy's more cultured upbringing is a binding, universal message about the need to accept the consequences of our acts. An ordinary lesson, perhaps, but it takes an extraordinary movie to make us listen.
- Full cast and crew for The Magic of Ordinary Days. - IMDb.
- Ann Howard Creel - Hallmark Hall of Fame from Creel's official website
- Hallmark Hall of Fame's Acclaimed The Magic of Ordinary Days Is Special Encore Presentation on CBS, a January 7, 2010 press release from the Hallmark website
- Erickson, Hal. - The Magic of Ordinary Days. - All Movie Guide at Allmovie.
- Hallmark makes magic, a January 27, 2005 review from USA Today