Rails and Ties
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Top Customer Reviews
The main thrust of the story concerns the couple's encounter with the suicide victim's preteen son (Miles Heizer) with whom they develop a parental bond. Although this twist creates new conflicts for the couple, it rekindles their lost relationship--as well as drives the film forward towards its life-affirming conclusion.
The film's performances are superb, and Alison Eastwood's direction is graceful and sublime. Micky Levy's screenplay creates characters that are truly believable and 3-dimensional, and brings us into their world so deeply that we don't want to leave.
Tom Stark (Kevin Bacon) is a train engineer, married to his job as well as being married to his nurse wife Megan (Marcia Gay Harden) who is facing the ugly fact that her breast cancer is terminal. The cancer has spread beyond Megan's body into the tenuous space that keeps a marriage glued: Megan attempts to hide her desperate need for emotional support by continuing to work as a nurse and Tom takes on extra train runs to avoid the reality that face him at home. The other side of the story is equally sad: young Davey Danner (Miles Heizer) cares of his psychologically shattered mother (Bonnie Root) and unknowingly accompanies her on a jaunt to 'see the train' - a ploy well planned by the suicidal mother to drive in front of an oncoming train to end her life along with Davey's. The conductor of the train is of course Tom Stark, and when Tom first sees the car on the tracks, he keeps to company policy that recommends gradual slowing rather than the danger of an abrupt stop: the result is the death of Davey's mother but Davey escapes the crash while trying to pull his mother from the car. The tragedies mount: Davey is left homeless, being placed in a foster home run by the cruel 'mom' (Margo Martindale) only to escape to find the 'killer' of his mother; Tom is put on leave for the incident; Megan gets the final word that she has very little time left and is ready to leave the distant Tom.Read more ›
Kevin Bacon portrays hidden emotional tangents as well as always, he looked similar to his character from Woodsman (an often skipped but worthy film). His trademark walk/swagger shows through a couple of times but his performance was believable and in the end, convincing since he had to go from being emotionally stunted to a single parent in one week. Marcia Gay Harden was outstanding and gave her best performance to date as a dying, childless woman in a defunct marriage who had always yearned for a child. The child actor (Heizer) gave his first big performance in film here, and he does not disappoint. The roles of being caregiver to his suicidal mom, to a grieving homeless kid, to the acceptance of the man who drove the train that killed her, could not have been easy. He stumbles a few times but has the early workings and innocent face of a young River Phoenix.
The deleted scenes were so relevant to back story and the kid's time being homeless, they should have been left in just to give something to the lead characters past and present dilemmas. The two actors (in these deleted parts) gave wonderful performances but appeared nowhere else in the film; I cannot even find their credits listed.
At times, customers ask for a film that will uplift them and not make them cry, this film will not be the one I hand them.Read more ›
The son of that woman survived comes to the railroad engineer mad at her mother's death. But he ends up with loving the whole family. The woman who is having a cancer and the man who was the engineer.
They wanted to keep him and even lied to the woman who tried to replaces the boy to the foster parent saying that he didn't saw the boy at all.
On the other hand, the engineer got suspended from the train company and he had a hard time as well.
But little by little he got closed with the boy and they become more like family.
His wife becomes more sick and finally dies.
Being left alone, the engineer tells the boy that we cannot run away forever cause you should go to school and all.
We are together and I won't abandone you. They finally go to meet this woman who tries to find where the boy is and tries to take him to the foster parent.
He will try to keep him as a parent for sure. The movie ends with hand in hand with the child beginning to walk to the office where the woman is working.
It is not a grandiose kind of film but rather a very small and calm story. I liked it that way and it was just the movie I wanted last night.
Sometimes I need a quiet and calm movie but heart warming one. If you are having a same mood, this is for you.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a nice movie on topics some people avoid talking about in real life, deals with sadness and loss, and does both those things well, while telling an interesting, albeit... Read morePublished 2 months ago by James N Simpson
I really enjoyed this movie. It was well acted by Marcia Gay Harden and Kevin Bacon. The editing could have been a bit better. The storyline is solid, a bit of a tearjerker.Published 8 months ago by Alicia
Great job done by the three main actors.....Unless you're adverse to "Hallmark" type movies, I'd recommend this film to anyone.Published 9 months ago by Vincent J. Albrecht
I loved this film. Great character development as is characteristic of Eastwood films so 'good on ya' Alison. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Igsmo