Last Friday night I took my mom to a screening of the independent film Touching Home. It’s a special movie and I wanted to share the experience with her because I had gushed to her so much about the book about the making of this movie, Either You’re In or You’re In The Way, by Logan and Noah Miller.
Touching Home, which is largely inspired by the lives of the filmmakers, tells the story of twin brothers Clint and Lane Winston. All their lives the boys have wanted to play baseball, be with each other and have a relationship with their father, who has been an alcoholic for most of their lives. Though it is not explicitly stated, you get the feeling that these boys have spent most of their lives hoping to make their father proud of them.
The movie begins as Clint and Lane are returning home after Clint (I think – remember they are twins) has failed out of community college. The boys’ plan is to save up money to go to try outs for the Colorado Rockies baseball team, however distractions at home quickly derail their agenda. Differing opinions on how to handle the difficult relationship with their father and his drinking, their chances for success in their field (pun intended), and fatigue from the backbreaking manual labor at the quarry keep them at odds with each other and their goals. The movie explores how they come to terms with their situation and gives a glimpse of the paths they utimately choose to take.
Touching Home is a marvel of a movie. Though the framework of pursuing dreams in the face of adversity is a familiar one, this story escapes being contrived and stays fresh because of the bittersweet reality depicted in the humble surroundings in the scenes and the heartiness and depth of the performances. I felt like was watching real people and lives on the screen and I had several moments where my reaction to the events unfolding was very emotional. You know how you see something coming and you want to stop it from happening, but you can’t because it’s a movie? Well, those were the types of moments I was having.
I love watching movies and reading books that offer me the opportunity to reflect on life and that highlight issues that I encounter and am grappling with. I was really taken by the accuracy of the portrayal of small town life, and thought about how many people of different cultural backgrounds live such similar existences – this could have been my grandfather’s life and town in Alabama – yet are odds with each other because each deems the other alien in some way. The opportunities to see films which explore and celebrate these lives can be few and far between so I am always grateful for the opportunity to experience that perspective.
Touching Home has been getting wonderful press reviews, and if you have the opportunity I would really recommend that you take the opportunity to experience this film. As with many independent films, it is in very limited release so check the schedule to see when and where it will be playing at a theater near you.
At my screening, Logan and Noah (the twin brothers who acted in, directed, produced, and wrote the Touching Home screenplay, as well as the book Either You’re In or You’re In The Way) were available to do a Q&A, which was fun to watch – like watching the dynamics of a married couple. I didn’t really have that many questions since I had already read the book about the making of the film, which again, I highly recommend, but I did buy my mom a copy and she chatted with them while they signed it for her. They were fun to meet – very personable and down to earth. It was a great way to spend a Friday night!