More Beautiful for Having Been Broken comes from writer and director Nicole Conn. If you are familiar with her name, you know to expect lesbian content. This film has a lesbian love story, but it’s secondary to the story of the special needs child who is the heart of the film.
More Beautiful for Having Been Broken manages what small measure of excellence it gets from the performance of young Cale Ferrin as Freddie. Cale Ferrin is an outstanding young actor.
Freddie is in fragile health. He’s wise and empathetic beyond his years.
Kayla Radomski as Samantha is Freddie’s mom. She’s raising him alone. She lives in a small mountain community in California. Freddie is loved and accepted by everyone there.
Into their lives comes Zoe Ventoura as McKenzie. McKenzie is an FBI agent on a forced 90 day suspension for questionable actions. And she’s grieving for her recently deceased mother.
McKenzie falls for Freddie before she and Samantha begin their romance. Like any romance, it doesn’t run smoothly. A big plot twist at the beginning of the 3rd act put a hex on them for a while.
Samantha is a dancer. There are many dance sequences, some of them fantasy scenes. There’s a long voice over from an unnamed narrator at the beginning. I found the voice over too long and unnecessary. It becomes apparent why the voice over is there at the end.
Themes of motherhood, love in all its forms, and trust are the strongest motifs in the film.
I thought the characters were badly drawn. Their actions were sometimes inexplicable or somewhat over the top. There were flashbacks to fill in some of the character’s stories, but it still didn’t explain why people acted the way they did 100% of the time.
While most of the actors were excellent, some of them were not good. Not good at all. The contrast was jarring.
The many tender scenes of love and motherhood compensated for these flaws to some degree, but not completely.
You can see vision and talent from Conn in the way shots are framed and lit, in the way the camera sees what’s happening. She’s mastered the art of film making. I wish the writing and acting had been equally good.
This film is an act of love on Nicole Conn’s part, as she has a special needs son herself. There are shots of her son Nicholas at the end of the film. Even with that heartfelt emotion driving it, I thought this was not up to the quality of other Nicole Conn films I’ve seen such as Elena Undone or A Perfect Ending.
Take a look at the trailer.
More Beautiful for Having Been Broken is available to rent or buy on Prime Video, YouTube and Google Play. The director’s cut, available on VOD, has intimate scenes that aren’t in the TV version.