Picks and Pans Review: The Magic of Ordinary Days

UPDATED 02/07/2005 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 02/07/2005 at 01:00 AM EST

CBS (Sun., Jan. 30, 9 p.m. ET)

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It's 1944 and Livy Dunne (Felicity's Keri Russell), a graduate student in archaeology, has heard nothing from the serviceman who left her pregnant in Denver. Her stern father sends her off into an arranged marriage with taciturn Ray Singleton (Skeet Ulrich), who owns a farm in the middle of nowhere. Hopelessly modern viewers may wish Livy would steal Ray's truck and make a break for it, but the title of this Hallmark Hall of Fame movie hints that she'll come to appreciate her husband and the quiet life.

Though the drama's pace is stubbornly slow, the lead performances are strong enough to carry it along. Unfortunately, Ordinary Days loses focus when Livy befriends Florie (Tania Gunadi) and Rose (Gwendoline Yeo), who are part of a group of Japanese-American internees working on Ray's farm. The two sisters are interesting characters, but their story is more than this simple film can handle.

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