Winningham's Silent Devotion
"Love Is Never Silent" is a made for TV movie and the sort which makes you realise how good these movies can be when they have a director in charge who refuses to let a movie fall into being cheesy with schmaltzy scenes. "Love Is Never Silent" also has a fantastic storyline about the trials and tribulations of a young girl who is the ears and mouth of her parents who are deaf. In fact it is one of the best movies I have come across when dealing with the subject of those with hearing problems and the issues it causes those who end up for want of a better term end up caring for them.
For young Margaret Ryder (Mare Winningham - The Maldonado Miracle) life is difficult, not just because as a teen during the depression era times are hard but because her parents are deaf and they rely on her. They have relied on her ever since she was a little girl when she had to deal with things no ten year old should and whilst she loves them she would love to be able to do other things teens do rather than having to go home to help. Even after graduation the difficulties don't stop as she finds work and has to deal with dating leading to personal conflict over her wants and her love and loyalty to her parents.
So "Love Is Never Silent" is set back in the depression era with the story starting in 1931 with Margaret as a child and then jumps just short of a decade to Margaret as a teen who is graduating and starting work. For the most the era of the movie isn't a big thing, it sets the scene for the difficulties for those with hearing problems at the time which I presume is worse than it is now but the depression and the war are not a big thing, just elements which leads into specific scenes and story elements. But the recreation of the era is fantastic with some great sets and costumes which make you think this must be a big budget movie.
But the strength of "Love Is Never Silent" is in the detail and what Margaret went through as the ears and mouth of her parents. We see how as a teen Margaret just wants a bit of life when she is at school where she can be treated as a normal teen and so no one knows about her deaf parents. We also see how when her mum collapses at work she has to be the go between with the doctor and some awkward questions. And on the subject of awkward questions there is a very dramatic scene early on surrounding the 10 year old Margaret having to deal with something which no 10 year old should have to when she has to speak to the man at the funeral home.
But as well as pointing out various difficult events and what Margaret did for her parents we also see how it affects her personally. When she grows up and has a man interested in her she doesn't feel it can go anywhere because her life is looking after her parents. This brings me to a wonderful performance from Sid Caesar as the kindly Mr. Petrakis who has looked out for Margaret ever since she was a child and worries about her and her devotion to her parents. Caesar brings such warmth to the character and such wisdom yet expectedly gives him the perfect amount of humour to make him fun.
But the star of "Love Is Never Silent" is Mare Winningham who not only looks great but delivers such a sensitive performance of a young woman who loves her parents but yearns for her own life and is torn. Winningham really brings Margaret to life in such a way we feel for her and her conflict over that love for her parents and a need for her own life.
What this all boils down to is that "Love Is Never Silent" is a pretty special movie which not only has charm but effectively tells the story of a young woman and her life with deaf parents.