A Trip Down Memory Lane
Kate (Melissa Gilbert - Thicker Than Water) was only 7 when she found her mum dead having committed suicide and ever since she has blamed her father, Thane (Ken Howard - Tactical Assault). It is why having grown up and left the family farm to become a successful lawyer in the city Kate won't return. But that all changes when her brother, Ryan (Cyril O'Reilly - Shattered Family), calls as their father is suffering memory loss and she needs to return home to the farm. Still holding her father responsible for her mother's suicide, Kate returns to discover things more seriousness than just some memory loss as Thane is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Deciding to spend some time with her father before it is too late Kate begins to realise that what she remembers from her childhood was not how it was which in turn causes her to question her own troubled feelings towards her father.
Whenever "Sacrifices of the Heart" appears on TV, here in the UK, the write up always mentions that it is written by Patti Davis, the daughter of former US President Ronald Reagan who in later years was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. The thing is that whilst "Sacrifices of the Heart" features Alzheimer's disease the underlying story ends up a familiar one where we have a city girl returning home and bonding with a parent after years of misplaced hurt.
It is that hurt which opens the movie as "Sacrifices of the Heart" starts with sepia tinted images of Kate's childhood and that day she found her mother after she had committed suicide which leads to the subsequent blame she placed on her father because of her mother's death. It is a quick and effective way of establishing the back story before leaping to the future where it equally quickly establishes that not only has Kate become a successful lawyer but one who has become estranged from her father and only rarely staying in touch with her brother.
Quickly is the word to use for each part of "Sacrifices of the Heart" as it tells the story, delivers some emotion and some fun whilst giving us a glimpse, but not overly focussing on how Thane is affected by his Alzheimer's disease. In truth the focus is more on Kate and her realisation that her memories of her childhood are not as they really were and it is what she thinks happened rather than what really did happen back then which has caused her years of hurt. I won't say what that is because "Sacrifices of the Heart" is a movie of limited surprises and so the few there are are worth discovering for your self.
Aside from that there isn't a great deal more to say other than "Sacrifices of the Heart" is a made for TV movie and as such has that easy going tone about it rather than hard hitting realism. As such some of the characters are on the more easy going side of believable but that makes them easy to warm to be it Melissa Gilbert as Kate or Ken Howard as Thane.
What this all boils down to is that "Sacrifices of the Heart" is first and foremost a made for TV movie aimed to be simple entertainment for those who enjoy the usually easy to watch nature of made for TV movies. And as such whilst it features a story surrounding a character with Alzheimer's disease it isn't a hard hitting drama about he effects of people living with the disease.