Touched by this Movie
After arriving at a home where children with Cerebral Palsy are cared for nurses aide Lena Canada (Deborah Raffin) quickly fits in helping these children break free from being locked in. One child in particular, Karen (Diane Lane - Secretariat), grabs Lena's attention who despite the attempts of all the staff, other children as well as Dr. Bell (Michael Learned - Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story) remains in her locked in state. Devoting her time to working with Karen it seems that Lena to will fail help Karen until when it seems that Karen will be moved to a hospital Lena makes a break through as Karen speaks for the first time. That one glimmer of hope builds to a lot more as through Lena's devotion Karen comes on leaps and bounds especially when Lena discovers that Karen is fond of Elvis Presley and encourages her to write to the star. And after some time and disappointment for Karen causing her to decline when no reply comes all of a sudden Elvis writes back and gives her a special address to write to so that all her letters will go straight to him leading to them regularly corresponding.
For some people a great movie will have the wow factor which stays with you years after you watched it, for others a great movie will have an enthralling story which you never forget. But for me a great movie is also one which touches you and leaves you with warm memories of that first time you watched it. That is how I feel about "Touched by Love" a true story movie I only caught part of the first time I watched it back in the 80s but touched me so deeply that I never forgot it and those warm memories came flooding back when I recently got an opportunity to watch "Touched by Love" again.
Now to be honest I am a bit of a sentimental so and so and as such "Touched by Love" with its story of friendship and devotion between Lena and Karen is right up my street. But this movie whilst sentimental is also more than sentimental with this touching story of a friendship which goes beyond just a job for Lena. It is this, the reward of watching Lena's devotion to Karen and the reward of seeing Karen come out of her locked in state which not only charms you but enthrals you. Basically you are drawn into the growth in Karen going from silent to speaking and are inspired by the innocent joy on her face of achieving things she never thought she could.
A big reason why "Touched by Love" ends up being very special is down to good performances with Deborah Raffin bringing across the devotion and caring in Lena to the point that you can see her fondness for Karen goes beyond that of nurse and patient. But then there is a young Diane Lane who is outstanding as Karen not only when it comes to playing someone with cerebral palsy with the hands and limbs twisted through muscle contractions but by emoting the change in Karen, the innocent joy of being able to talk and the thrill of receiving letters from Elvis. It really is a fantastic performance from the future star that the rest of the cast which includes Michael Learned and John Amos whilst solid end up playing second fiddle to her.
What this all boils down to is that "Touched by Love" is a fantastic and to be honest little known movie from 1980 which if you are a fan of touching movies is a must watch.