Picks and Pans Review: Eye on the Sparrow

updated 12/07/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/07/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

NBC (Mon., Dec. 7, 9 p.m. ET)


In the beginning Eye on the Sparrow looks like an easy winner as Sweetsiest Movie of 1987. Here we have a darling little blind girl out with her poor but loving parents, singing a little ditty: "I sing because I'm happy." We cut to a scene of the proud father rejecting a neighbor's gift of clothes because "my family don't take charity." We see the father get sick and die. And we're told that this will become the true story of how the little blind girl grows up, marries a blind man and battles bureaucrats so she can adopt children of her own. Any second I thought that my TV screen would start dripping like a maple tree in February. But then Mare Winningham as the blind woman and Keith Carradine as her husband save the hour. When the script clumsily jerks through its story like a stick shift in driver's ed—not bothering to lead up to or out of such major events as suicide attempts—Winningham and Carradine keep the story moving. We want to keep watching at moments like those not because the story makes sense but because we like the characters. Thanks to these two actors, Eye on the Sparrow ends up in the running for Nicest Movie of 1987.

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