Cinema Slueth – Presence of Love

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Stars: 4.5 / 5

Recommendation:  A gem of a movie in Hallmark’s crown dealing with real issues, and life-learning lessons with more depth on love, loss and sadness than your usual Hallmark romantic dramas. Would love to see more of such movies come from the various channels of Hallmark.

Presence of Love is a 2022 romantic drama by Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channel starring Eloise Mumford, Julian Morris, Amy Sharp and Samantha Bond in the lead cast. The movie was directed by Maclain Nelson, produced by a plethora of producers that usually happens with any Hallmark channel movies. The main plot is written by Nicole Baxter.

The film follows Joss Lambert (portrayed by Eloise Mumford), an adjunct professor, as she takes a journey to visit the place where her late mother grew up in England. She meets a single father Daniel (portrayed by Julian Morris), and his daughter, Tegan (portrayed by Amy Sharp) while staying on the farm run by Daniel and his family. In the process she discovers herself, and understands what her mother wanted her to find in this life-learning journey.

I have watched a couple of Hallmark movies in which Eloise Mumford had acted in, of which my favorite so far has been the 2018 holiday romantic drama A Veteran’s Christmas by Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel. She has the impeccable ability to make the viewers see her as the role she is portraying rather than the person. Be it as Captain Grace Garland (2018 A Veteran’s Christmas) or Annie McBride (2022 The Baker’s Son) or Maggie (2012 Christmas with Holly), we only see the characters.

Well, she doesn’t always portray the sweet, charming or peppy Hallmark heroine with a halo on her head. Her role in the NBC television’s American drama series Chicago Fire, she portrays as  Hope Jacquinot, friend from Sylvie Brett’s (portrayed by Kara Killmer) hometown. Her version of Hope is anything but sweet. She is satirical, condescending and conniving always coming in the way of Sylvie’s happiness. She did a 180 in her performance portraying a total polar opposite role compared to her Hallmark movies’ roles.

Julian Morris as Daniel is a single father in the film trying to work his way in the farm, deal with his personal issues, while falling in love with Mumford’s Joss. I vaguely remember him from the 2021 Christmas romantic film A Royal Queen’s Christmas by Hallmark Channel where he portrayed as Prince Collin.

Amy Sharp as Tegan forms the glue bringing all the characters together. She plays a very critical role that opens up Mumford’s Joss to go outside of her comfort zone. The scene between Tegan and her grandmother Merryn (portrayed by Samantha Bond), where Merryn explains the proper way to do tea is very charming.

The movie was filmed on location in Cornwall, a region in the South West of Britain. We get to see the most magical and enchanted locations that Britain is so famous for. It feels like a totally different world that is not part of where we live. Beautiful and stunning for certain !

Apart from Mumford and the story line, the other aspect I loved about this movie are the constant quoting of lines from William Wordsworth’s famous poems. It is not often that we hear lines from other poet or authors works other than William Shakespeare or Edgar Allan Poe or Oscar Wilde. So hearing Wordsworth quoted was music to my years. I am partial to Wordsworth over Shakespeare any day. Listen (or read) to these lines from his 1807 lyric poem “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud.”

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;

Or how about this from his 1807 lyric poem “The Solitary Reaper.”

Behold her, single in the field,
Yon solitary Highland Lass!
Reaping and singing by herself;
Stop here, or gently pass!
Alone she cuts and binds the grain,
And sings a melancholy strain;
O listen! for the Vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.

The movie also shows how one can push through their barriers, overcome difficulties and lead their lives in every way happy they could be. It comes off as a romantic version of Paulo Coelho’s 1988 novel The Alchemist yet retaining the same inner essence to the story.

This film breaks the standard template of Hallmark plots. There is no big city girl returning to her home town to help fix a local food joint or a seasonal festival, help because Dad is hurt, meet her old boyfriend, review why they broke up, ponder why her current relationship doesn’t work and why she should go back to her old flame, have an almost kiss, an accidental misunderstanding, and get it all resolved by the last 5 minutes of the movie.

 A real story filled with real emotions, real issues, professional conflicts, personal struggles, with deep interpretations when the characters deal with love, loss and sadness. A refreshing change for Hallmark to deviate from the usual romantic movies. A breathe of spring filled with beautiful literature.

Although it never ceases me to wonder how the heroine packs four different kinds of coats, boots and a plethora of outfits in one suitcase. Off late though Hallmark has become a little more realistic when it comes to the heroine’s outfits. Well it’s a Hallmark movie, so we should perhaps oversee this quirk of theirs. 🙂

A gem of a movie in Hallmark’s crown dealing with real issues, and life-learning lessons with more depth on love, loss and sadness than your usual Hallmark romantic dramas. Would love to see more of such movies come from the various channels of Hallmark.

Spoiler Alerts:

Movie Trivia:

Here are the four huge coats that Mumford’s Joss packs in her one suitcase. 🙂 – blue, pink, tweed, red coats, and a green reversible jacket.

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