The opening scenes of the independent drama Like Dandelion Dust contrast the circumstances of two very different families. Jack and Molly Campbell enjoy the good life—hours spent sailing or enjoying the view from their Florida waterfront mansion, their adorable son Joey always in tow. Rip and Wendy Porter, on the other hand, are barely surviving life in their impoverished Ohio neighborhood. Rip has just served a seven-year-sentence for his alcohol-fueled abuse of Wendy, and now they are struggling to find a new existence together.
The lives of the Campbells and the Porters would never intersect were it not for one life-altering fact: The Porters are the birth parents of the Campbells' adopted son. When Rip finds out about the boy he didn't know he had, he wants him back. And because his signature was forged on the original adoption papers, he just might get what he wants.
Based on the novel by best-selling inspirational fiction writer Karen Kingsbury, Like Dandelion Dust mines all the emotion implicit in its dramatic premise through a surprisingly nuanced lens. Barry Pepper (Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers) gives recovering alcoholic Rip a humanity that refuses to settle into caricature—Rip is capable of both great goodness and tragic violence, and never becomes a simple cartoon villain. As Rip's wife Wendy, Academy Award winner Mira Sorvino (Mighty Aphrodite) is the film's heart and soul—her depiction of a woman both fragile and courageous is riveting. And although Maxwell Perry Cotton (TV's Brothers and Sisters) seems younger than his character's six years, he does a fine job portraying Joey's naïveté and confusion.
As the well-healed Campbells, Cole Hauser and Kate Levering also give ...