- 1 hr 26 min
Jesse is a heart-wrenching drama film released in 2011, directed by Fred Carpenter. The movie's central character is a nine-year-old girl named Jesse, who suffers from a serious illness, but she remains optimistic despite the odds stacked against her. The movie stars Stephanie Finochio as Jesse, William Forsythe as Frank Cavallo, and Armand Assante as Joe Fine.
Jesse's story begins with her receiving a surprise visit from her estranged grandfather, Joe Fine (Assante), whom she has never met before. Fine is an ex-convict and former boxer, trying to reconnect with his past and make amends with his estranged daughter, Jesse's mother. Frank Cavallo (Forsythe), an old friend of Fine's, accompanies him to the visit, and through him, we learn the backstory of the two friends.
As Jesse's condition deteriorates, she becomes more withdrawn and unwilling to fight. Her grandfather, who's made it his mission to make amends for his past wrongdoings, decides to take Jesse on a road trip to the Grand Canyon, hoping to give her a life-changing experience. Accompanied by his loyal friend Frank who is in search of something heâs lost, they embark on a journey that transforms their lives forever.
Throughout the journey, Jesse comes to know her grandfather and the secrets he keeps, embracing the challenges that come with her terminal illness. Along the way, she discovers the power of hope, faith, perseverance, and the beauty of the world around her. Her grandfather, on the other hand, confronts his past while still finding joy in the present moment. Together, they form a unique bond, and Jesse comes to understand that the only way to truly die is to have never lived.
The film has a nuanced exploration of the themes of love, family, forgiveness, redemption, and loss, all centered around the unique relationship between a young girl and her grandfather. It's a touching and inspiring story that manages to be both hopeful and bittersweet.
Stephanie Finochio's performance as Jesse is a standout in the movie. She delivers the character remarkably, bringing a sense of innocence, wonder, and bravery to the screen. William Forsythe and Armand Assante also deliver stellar performances, carefully balancing the humor and heartbreak their characters bring to the table.
The movie's cinematography is also deserving of praise, capturing the vast landscapes of the American Southwest in all their stunning beauty. The direction by Fred Carpenter, too, brings a sense of intimacy and warmth to the proceedings without feeling sentimental or cloying.
In conclusion, Jesse is a must-watch film that showcases the power of the human soul in the face of adversity. It's a deeply affecting story that will stay with you long after the credits roll. If you're looking for a heartwarming and poignant drama with excellent performances, Jesse is a movie you don't want to miss.
Jesse is a 2011 action movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 26 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 3.6.