When Andrew Came Home

Watch When Andrew Came Home

  • NR
  • 2000
  • 1 hr 28 min
  • 6.4  (655)

When Andrew Came Home is a heartwarming drama that explores the devastating effects of the child welfare system on a family torn apart by circumstances beyond their control. The film stars Park Overall as Julie, a working mother who decides to take in a troubled teenager named Andrew (Seth Adkins) after he is released from a juvenile detention center. Despite the objections of her husband Mark (Jason Beghe), who worries about the potential risks to their own children, Julie is determined to give Andrew a chance to rebuild his life and become part of their family.

Andrew has a traumatic past, having been removed from his drug-addicted mother at a young age and shuffled between foster homes and institutions. He is a sullen and withdrawn young man who struggles to adjust to life outside of confinement. Julie sees potential in him and tries to connect with him by offering him love, support and a stable home environment. She enlists the help of her friend and co-worker Ruth (Linda Dano) to find Andrew a job and enroll him in study sessions to help him catch up on his education.

The family dynamic is understandably strained as Andrew struggles to adapt to his new environment, often clashing with Mark and the couple's two children. Mark is resentful of Andrew's presence and feels threatened by his negative influence on their son. Meanwhile, Andrew grapples with feelings of anger and confusion about his past and struggles to let his guard down and trust those around him.

The tension comes to a boiling point when Andrew is accused of a crime he did not commit, and the family must rally together to fight for his innocence against the child welfare system that has failed him in the past. The film does an excellent job of highlighting the systemic flaws of the child welfare system and the ways in which it can strip families of their rights and perpetuate cycles of trauma and violence.

The performances in When Andrew Came Home are outstanding, with Park Overall delivering a nuanced and empathetic portrayal of a mother struggling to hold her family together in the face of adversity. Seth Adkins is also excellent as Andrew, capturing the character's anger and vulnerability with great skill. The film also features strong supporting performances from Linda Dano and Jason Beghe, who bring depth and complexity to their respective roles.

In terms of direction, When Andrew Came Home is a well-made and emotionally resonant drama that balances its heavy subject matter with moments of warmth and humor. Director Artie Mandelberg has a deft touch when it comes to building tension and creating an atmosphere of suspense, and the film's climax is both harrowing and cathartic.

Overall, When Andrew Came Home is a powerful and poignant drama that offers a sobering look at the failings of the child welfare system and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity. It's a film that will stay with viewers long after the credits roll, and serves as a reminder of the importance of compassion, empathy, and family.

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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 28 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.4  (655)