With its Rockwellian visuals, unsubtle sentimentality, simplistic sermonizing and open manipulation, this cluttered weeper plays like a faith-based story penned by Nichols Sparks.
An eight-year-old boy (Jakob Salvati, the most annoying child actor since Jake Lloyd in Phantom Menace) befriends a Japanese-American during WWII. He comes to believe faith will bring his dad home, and golly if he isn’t right.
But the movie’s downfall is not theological. It’s writer/director Alejandro Monteverde’s ham-handed, gracelessness storytelling. And what are Tom Wilkinson and Emily Watson doing in this drivel? Japanese title: Little Boy: Chiisa na Boku to Senso. (106 min)