After Rip (Barry Pepper) completes his prison sentence for beating Wendy (Mira Sorvino), they find their boy, Joey, in a loving home states away with the only two parents he's ever known.
Unwillingly to give up their son, Molly and Jack (Kate Levering and Cole Hauser) desperately try to find a way to keep Joey -- all while Barry and Mira are awaiting the day he'll come home and they can be a family again.
Mira Sorvino on Faith and Like Dandelion Dust
By Hannah Goodwyn
- Like Dandelion Dust is a heart-wrenching modern-day parable based on a popular Karen Kingsbury novel. Paralleling the biblical account of King Solomon's wise judgment that revealed the selfless love of a mother, this movie, starring Mira Sorvino, embodies forgiveness and mercy wrapped inside an intense adoption story. It may sound like a film only moms would care about, but producers Bobby and Kevin Downes say it's a chick flick guys also will want to see.
“We’ve had guys respond as equally as strong as women, which has been really exciting,” Kevin Downes says. "It’s a testament to the characters that Karen Kingsbury developed. And on top of that, Barry Pepper is just so engaging in this film that as a guy you want to watch what he does. There’s a sensitivity and softness to Barry, to the character of Rip, that is played out in this movie that I think guys internally relate to."
“As a newly adopted dad myself, I can also relate to (the adoptive father) Jack’s journey and his plight, and how far would you go to save your own son," Downes explains. "I sit there and I say, 'Yeah, don’t give up! Don’t give up! You went out and you fought for your son.' And that’s very honorable and very noble and I think guys will root for that.”
Mira Sorvino as Wendy
First interested in playing the role of the adoptive mother, actress Mira Sorvino quickly changed her mind when she recognized the depth of Wendy's character and her emotional situation as the abused, biological mother of Joey. (Read a full movie synopsis)
"It’s very interesting because at a certain point in the film you’re kind of rooting for both families, which is an impossibility, obviously," Sorvino says. "But, there’s a case to be made for how much Rip and Wendy love the child and how much it would do to rebuild them as a family, to be reunited, and it’s really heart-wrenching the whole time, kind of a nail bitter because you really don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Sorvino initially saw weakness in Wendy, but that changes as her emotional journey begins to reveal an incredible amount of inner strength. Sorvino's performance is based on Karen Kingsbury's novel and also a personal friend's heartache as she struggled with losing custody of her children and the aftermath of abuse.
"She's the most angelic person I had ever met and the most loving. She was so warm, caring, and giving," Sorvino says.
With regard to her character, Sorvino says that Wendy is "not a person who has a lot of fight in her for herself, but she finds strength to have an altruistic love for others.”
Forgiveness in Like Dandelion Dust
Though Like Dandelion Dust is not marketed as a Christian film, its spiritual themes do inspire a certain reflection on God. This is especially evident as Wendy struggles with the concept of forgiveness, according to Mira Sorvino.
“The only way you can be released from the guilt is to feel that God forgives you," Sorvino says. "And that’s a hard thing to get, to feel… I mean we are promised it… Jesus died to wipe away our sins, but the feeling of sin is sometimes overwhelming and the wish to be exonerated and forgiven and somehow embrace with benevolence and forgiveness is something we all struggle with when we’ve done something really wrong.”
As Wendy's wrestling with her past mistake and her decision to take Joey from his family, she's also confronted with her husband's need for mercy.
“When he starts to slide into his old habits and his old demons start rearing their heads again, she is called upon to show him the same grace,” Sorvino says.
Producer Bobby Downes also sees Wendy's transformation as a big moment in Like Dandelion Dust, one that may grab audiences even more than the adoption story does.
“She’s choosing as a strong woman to stay with this man because she’s choosing life," says co-producer Bobby Downes. "She’s choosing life for her son and giving life, providing life for her husband. That’s a strong position to take, not a position of weakness.”
Mira Sorvino Talks Personal Faith
“Like Dandelion Dust drew on my faith because I can relate to the character’s struggle," Sorvino explains. "I was able to draw on personal feelings and personal issues of asking for God’s help and guidance. Real life strengthens my faith."
One such faith-building situation happened a year and a half ago when Mira was admitted to the hospital because of complications with the pregnancy of her third child.
"It was very touch and go," Sorvino says. "I had a condition that was threatening to both my life and the baby’s life. And it was so frightening. I just … one day at a time, prayed everyday. My minister came in and gave me the Eucharist in the hospital several times, and I was doing a lot of reading, a lot of praying, and a lot of soul-searching. I feel very, very grateful that my son was born healthy and everything came out fine. We’re always strengthened, and as we grow as human beings, hopefully we grow towards God.”
Hannah Goodwyn serves as the Entertainment and Family producer for CBN.com. For more articles and information, visit Hannah's bio page.
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