North to Home (Drama) [Based on Novel] (2022)
Director: Ali Liebert
Writer: Steven Sessions, Sarah Morgan (Based on Novel by)
Stars: Lyndsy Fonseca, Erica Durance, Kimberley Sustad, Barbara Niven
Three adopted sisters reunite at their childhood home. A family get-together with painful memories and tough decisions for each.
Based upon British author Sarah Morgan’s novel ‘’The Christmas Sisters’’, Ali Liebert adapts the story of three daughters having lost their mother at an early age reuniting, seeing where each of their lives has brought them and where they’re going. While taking place in Alaska it was entirely filmed in Vancouver, Canada. It has been produced by Timeless Pictures, Hallmark Channel and Crown Media Productions while distributed by Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.
Returning home, the McBride sisters Posy (Lyndsy Fonseca), Beth (Kimberley Sustad), Hannah (Erica Durance) reunite with their adoptive parents. Their mother having passed away on a mountain climbing trip led by Suzanne (Barbara Niven); the woman who later adopted them in a loving but grief-stricken gesture.
An adapted tale, from Morgan’s novel presents the importance of family and honesty towards them. It’s a Made for TV film with romance, family, and even some mystery as it attempts to tug on your heart-strings with a healthy scoop of television drama.
Each of the sisters follows their own contained narrative, later to be shared. ‘’North to Home’’ shows past and present holding family secrets to its figurative chest. Within a short and respectable running time, the cast tries its hardest to convince the audience of their close bonds. Scenes throughout Barbara’s home seem to convince how closely knit they’ve all become, even travelling to a woodcutting festival driving the point of true chemistry even further.
While difficult to assess exactly how much effort and genuine love went into ‘’North to Home’’ at least it seems as such, on a lowly-budgeted basis. There’s some casting here, in actors I’d see suitable for Hollywood productions such as Fonseca, Durance and Hamilton more-so than others. Although it was clear in scenes Fonseca’s heart wasn’t in it. Even so, these supposed sisters fit the bill, Durance and Sustad especially.
The on-screen sisters bonding and connecting together, with the adoptive parents in Niven’s Barbara and Fred Keating’s Stewart just isn’t enough though. Quite early on the simple drama stagnates, never really going anywhere. An intended plot-twist to sow some dissonance quickly fizzles out as romance conquers all it seems. Without a satisfying conclusion ‘’North to Home’’ falls flat and fades into the distance.
In a time where streaming services are everywhere, the only place I’d imagine ‘’North to Home’’ is in some elderly person’s living room who forgot to turn her TV off. As a fan of Lyndsy Fonseca there’s some diversion but the painfully low-budget coupled with a cringe-worthy soundtrack eerily similar of those Hallmark gift cards with audio — regrettably, it belongs wherever TV-movies go to die.
Has all the hallmarks of a TV drama.