A Shine of Rainbows (2009) starring Connie Nielsen, Aidan Quinn, John Bell, Jack Gleeson, Tara Alice Scully, Niamh Shaw directed by Vic Sarin Movie Review

A Shine of Rainbows (2009)   4/54/54/54/54/5

John Bell as Tomás in A Shine of Rainbows (2009)

Kissed by a Rainbow

Young Tomás (John Bell) is an unhappy child often builled by the other children in the orphanage where he lives. That is until Maire (Connie Nielsen - The Hunted) enters his life, a ray of sunlight in vibrant colours who takes him back home to Corrie where she lives with her husband Alec (Aidan Quinn - The Exonerated) to see if he settles before they adopt him. Whilst Alec has a heart of gold the timid Tomás is not exactly what he expected in a son, finding it difficult to bond with the stuttering child. But as Tomás grows in confidence, makes friends and feels at home things look good, that is until a tragedy strikes.

Have you ever watched a movie which you know isn't great but draws you in with charm, emotion and basically makes you feel connected? "That is what "A Shine of Rainbows" achieves, it is all about the feeling; it is all about enjoying the beauty, charm and sweetness on show rather than anything else and feeling the warmth of how the story pans out rather than the story itself. As such if you don't fall in love with the characters or the beautiful setting or get charmed by the wonderful Maire you end up with a storyline which is simple, meandering and predictable. In fact as stories go this one throws very few surprises at you as in this journey of Tomás coming out of his shell and bonding it almost follows a timetable of events similar to other movies right up to the dramatic but predictable climax.

Aidan Quinn and Connie Nielsen in A Shine of Rainbows (2009)

But as I said for me "A Shine of Rainbows" is less about what happens but how it makes you feel and at the heart of this is Connie Nielsen as Maire. Maire is kissed by a rainbow, a vibrantly dressed woman who is over flowing with love and life and if you get swept up by her personality you are immediately hooked. It is such a wonderful performance from Nielsen which has echoes of Maureen O'Hara about her mixing fiery with soft and gentle. But it is not just a copycat character because Nielsen makes her magical; making all the fairytale blarney she feeds Tomás sounds so wonderful such as when she has him talking to the seals.

And that leads me to the next part of the charm, the fantasy aspects of "A Shine of Rainbows" such as Maire making life on Corrie a place of magic with tall tales and wishes. Between the wonderful Irish landscape and these fantasy elements such as talking to the seals or tall tales about old stones you are whisked off in a world off innocence. And as such young John Bell as Tomás sells this nicely as he comes out his shell thanks to Maire and her love as well as her magical tales. Watching Tomás go from timid and hesitant to a young boy who feels he has a home is beautiful but so is watching his face light up when Maire comforts him.

But it is not all sweetness and light and "A Shine of Rainbows" has a darker moment, one which in fairness took me by surprise. But this then allows Aidan Quinn a chance to really shine as Alec as he comes to the fore and has to bond with young Tomás. In fairness Quinn is actually great through out the movie and gets across the aspect of a man with a heart of gold but also one who doesn't know how to be a father to a timid boy who is the opposite of him. You can actually feel the warmth and frustration of Alec as he tries to bond with Tomás but only seems to scare the boy.

What this all boils down to is that I know what I have written is a bit of a jumble but "A Shine of Rainbows" is actually a hard movie to describe despite actually being a simple movie. It's hard because what happens is not that amazing but how it makes you feel, how it charms and wows you with beauty and innocence is what it is all about and if you like innocent, beautiful family dramas "A Shine of Rainbows" will melt your heart.