Picks and Pans Review: Summer's End
As everyone knows, James Earl Jones is a big man with a bass voice sufficiently resonant to register on the Richter scale. But in this TV movie, his character is an intriguing combination of strength and vulnerability. Jones plays Dr. William Blakely, a retired black physician who returns to the small Georgia town where he grew up, a lakeside community now lily-white and hostile. Jamie Baldwin (Jake LeDoux), a 12-year-old as yet untrained in bigotry, befriends Dr. Blakely and learns he has come to plant his staff on home ground many years after his family was victimized by racial violence. Part of Dr. Blakely wants to be accepted, or at least left alone to enjoy his fishing and boating. But part of him wants the townsfolk to know in no uncertain terms that he shall not be moved.
For young viewers, the main story is Jamie's: Will he listen to his mother (Wendy Crewson) and maintain his relationship with Dr. Blakely, or will he line up on the racist side with his 16-year-old brother Hunter (Brendan Fletcher) and Hunter's insolent pal Lad (Jonathan Kroeker)? Adults, meanwhile, will keep their eyes on Jones's Dr. Blakely, noticing that while he stands defiantly on his dock, he flinches slightly at the provocations of those who would drive him away. When he finally roars "I will not leave!" it's enough to shake the town to its foundations. Man, that's some voice.
Bottom Line: Formidable Jones in good family fare
On Newsstands Now
- Kim's Delivery Room Drama!
- Katie: A Year After Split
- Princess Kate: Palace's Baby Plan Revealed
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine