Modern Charm of Green Gables
Siblings, Matthew (Martin Sheen) and Marilla Cuthbert (Sara Botsford), have decided to take in an orphaned boy to help Matthew with the running of the farm. Much to Matthew's shock when he arrives at the train station to pick up said orphan the orphan is not a boy but a freckle faced, red headed girl by the name of Anne Shirley (Ella Ballentine), an inquisitive and out spoken young woman. But Anne has a spirit and way about her which has an impact on all those she meets.
I'm almost 44 years old and whilst I have heard of "Anne of Green Gables" I had never read the story or watched any of the other adaptations so had no real expectations and of course can make no comparisons. So maybe this is a good place for those who are going to watch "Anne of Green Gables" who are in the same boat as I am, no knowledge what so ever. So quickly the best way I can describe this 2016 version of "Anne of Green Gables" is to say it has the wholesomeness of modern made for TV movies such as the "Love Comes Softly" series of movie. It is a wholesomeness which admittedly doesn't sit well with everyone but has the potential to entertain those who grew up on "The Waltons" and are now at an age that they yearn for more innocent entertainment.
As to what actually happens in this version of "Anne of Green Gables" well we see how the talkative Anne wins people over with her do anything attitude and inquisitive nature as well as her appreciation for the beauty of life which she poetically talks about. But we also get a glimpse of her less than blessed past as she has had some bad foster parents before. The thing is that whilst I can guess the original story has been heavily condensed down to fit in to 90 minutes what is served up is full of entertainment and charm, drawing you in to the world of Anne through her positive nature.
On the subject of which Ella Ballentine is pretty special as Anne and reminded me heavily of a young Lindsay Lohan, a little stage school in places but brings so much spirit to the role she is a joy to watch. But then so are Martin Sheen and Sara Bostford who make for an amusing pair as the Cuthbert siblings. This trio work so well together with Martin Sheen bringing age and caring to his characterisation to make Matthew the sort of person you would like in your life especially with that little bit of mischief about him.
What this all boils down to is that "Anne of Green Gables" is an entertaining little drama which should entertain all the family especially those who find themselves now longing for innocent entertainment.