My good friend Rebecca Ryan suggested this movie, so I rented it for Sunday when I needed to crash after my Friday/Saturday retreat and still entertain the throngs. We all loved it, and I can't believe I hadn't seen it before. A couple of the kids said they'd seen parts of it, but never the whole thing - Disney Channel cuts a few places, and not because of content, must be for time.
Shia LeBeouf grew up to star in Transformers and Eagle Eye. (I'll do a review on Eagle Eye soon!)
Without further ado, here's Rebecca:
Do you have a favorite ‘go to’ movie? Something you play when you need a little pick-me-up? For our family that movie is Holes, based on the best-selling novel by Louis Sachar. The movie is family friendly – I would rate it for kids ten and above. (Although I will admit that my seven and eight-year-old have watched it with my supervision.) There are a few scuffles and some minor language that give Holes a PG rating.
The movie begins when Stanley Yelnats (masterfully portrayed by a teenage Shia LeBeouf) is wrongly convicted of stealing a pair of celebrity sneakers from a charity auction. The judge sentences Stanley to eighteen months at a juvenile detention camp.
At camp, Stanley and the other delinquents are required to spend their days digging holes in the desert to ‘improve their character.’ Each hole must be five-feet-deep and five-feet-wide. Stanley gradually realizes there is an ulterior motive to the incessant digging.
Interwoven into Stanley’s tale is the story of ‘Kissing Kate Barlow’, a nineteenth century outlaw. A third story line involving Stanley’s ‘No-Good-Pig-Stealing-Great-Great-Grandfather’ also threads its way into the movie.
Don’t worry though, the movie is perfectly plotted and each storyline is balanced to connect the movie in a perfect bow during the final scenes. I think it’s because the author of the bestselling novel, Louis Sachar, also wrote the screenplay for the movie.
I can’t say enough about the cast either. Jon Voight and Sigourney Weaver play sadistic camp wardens. There are also cameos by Eartha Kitt and Henry Winkler. Even the teenagers cast as Stanley’s fellow delinquents are amazing.
It’s a story of friendship, family and redemption. Holes was only a modest success at the box-office in 2003, which is a shame. If you need a way to connect with your ‘tweens’ I highly recommend this movie. You might even get them to read the book...