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The Brooke Ellison Story


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Editorial Reviews

Paralyzed from the neck down by a devastating car accident, eleven-year-old Brooke Ellison and her family fight against all odds to help her live her dreams-including graduating with honors from Harvard University. A testament to the courage and determination of an unforgettable young girl and the family that stood by her, THE BROOKE ELLISON STORY is a deeply inspiring, often astonishing account of the triumph of the human spirit.

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, John Slattery, Lacey Chabert, Vanessa Marano, Jenson Goins
  • Directors: Christopher Reeve
  • Writers: Brooke Ellison, Camille Thomasson, Jean Ellison
  • Producers: Christopher Reeve, David Craig, Delia Fine, Howard Braunstein
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 24, 2005
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000803BQ2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,891 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Brooke Ellison Story" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

We can only tell you what we know right now.
Garry Hixon
I love how devoted the parents are to their daughter and her circumstances.
Colleen P. Rivera
I loved this movie because it is very inspirational and sweet.
morganj

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By J. SHARP on May 31, 2005
Format: DVD
Christopher Reeve's penultimate directorial effort is a made-for-TV biopic that attempts to bring a slightly more realistic approach to the genre while hewing fairly closely to the format. In all, Reeve succeeded here.

Much of the credit can go to the writing and active participation of Brooke Ellison and her mother and constant caregiver Jean but screenwriter Camille Thomasson also deserves kudos for employing brief but memorable vignettes of the other family members. As the husband of a permanently disabled but determined wife, I know too well how spinal cord injury affects more than just one life. Even though the reality is twenty times more difficult than shown here, it's also just too graphic and downright bleak for family viewing. I strongly suggest watching the interviews provided on this disc to get just a glimpse of how much Brooke truly overcomes each day.

I especially appreciate the honest depiction of flawed people and of the myopia and short tempers this type of life can foster. That the Ellisons achieved so much in spite of their situation is incredible.

Vanessa Marano and Lacey Chabert do good work as Brooke (as a child then adult, respectively) but Mastrantonio does most of the heavy lifting as the 24-hour mom and assistant, Jean. Reeve gave her ample time to play her scenes and the discomfort created by some of them is very palpable.

The ending is probably the weakest link, falling far too rapidly into LifeTime mode, but it's still worth the ride. I sincerely recommend this DVD and applaud Reeve and the Ellisons on this effort.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Fruit Loop VINE VOICE on September 26, 2005
Format: DVD
Brooke Ellison's magnificent achievements, both because and in spite of her disability, can't help but inspire. Her biography and this movie version are both a tribute to her and to her loving family, especially her mother. I think the true tragedy of Brooke's accident was not that she was so severely changed, but that we were all so nearly robbed of a remarkable and gifted human being.

Christopher Reeve's talent as a director is evident in this well-put-together biopic which covers Brooke and her family from her accident, their struggles to ensure that she continues to live as normal a life as possible, the financial difficulties of supporting a family with a severely disabled child and the frustrations of bureaucratic red tape to get Brooke adequate care, the emotional struggles of all the family members, and Brooke's final triumph when she graduates from Harvard.

I wish Brooke and her family well, and hope to see her on the speaking tour. Five stars for an inspiring story.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David E. Levine on December 15, 2005
Format: DVD
This dvd is an inspriration on many levels. First, Director Christopher Reeve overcame his disability in order to direct and complete this project, which sadly, was his final project. Secondly, the dvd portrays the true story of a young woman, who overcame her own paralysis, to complete school and then, get accepted to and complete her degree at Harvard University (she also continued on to post graduate degrees). Finally, her devoted family is an inspiration. If her mother didn't devote 24 hours, seven days a week to her care, Brooke could not have overcome the physical limitations. Furthermore, her father kept the rest of the family together as he raised Brooke's siblings.

I thought that this movie would be difficult to watch. Nothing could be further from the truth. Young Brooke was paralyzed in an accident at the age of 11 and, throughout, her detrmination and optimism are uplifting. Certainly there were problems including red tape with both schooling and medical insurance. Also, the family situation was difficult on her older sister. Nonetheless, the Ellison family is an amazingly strong and devoted family.

I have seen Million Dollar Baby which explores many of the issues of disability from a much darker side. I thought that it was also a great movie since the issues of whether to go on or to give up are issues that exist in real life and should, therefore, be explored in movies. However, I am happy that there are people like Brooke who are optimistic and choose not only to go on, but to thrive.

A worthwhile feature of the dvd is an interview with Brooke and her mother, Jean. There is also an interview with her father Ed, interspersed within. Truthfully, they don't physically resemble the actresses portraying them in the movie but, that is not important.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Norliza Ismail on March 5, 2006
Format: DVD
People should watch more family movies then any other genre cause it's more down to earth and closer to home. This movie has touched me deeply and truely an inspiration to anybody from many levels. The late Christopher Reeves has done well in directing this movie especially when he could relate to it.

This was the story of Brooke Ellison (Lacey Chabert), who was involved in a car accident that that left eher completely paralyse from her neck down and she she has to rely on her family, especially her mother for every little thing. She face the issues of going to school, life, the acceptance of public and every little things we take for granted. Her mother attends her every class with her until she graduated. Within the pages of her mother's attentive for Brooke, her older sister, Kysten, suffer the emotional torment of the lack of her own mother's care, jealous of all the attention Brooke was receiving.

This surely moved me and if your school offers a movie club, please show this to your class. It would raise awareness among the watchers.
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