War Flowers (DVD Review)22 Jun, 2013 By: Ashley Ratcliff
Prebook 6/25/13; Street 7/30/13
Rated ‘PG-13’ for war violence and a scene of sexual menace.
Stars Christina Ricci, Jason Gedrick, Tom Berenger, Bren Foster.
Set in the middle of the Civil War South, War Flowers tells the tale of a mother and daughter who struggle to survive the tough realities of the time.
Sarah (Christina Ricci) and her daughter, Melody (Gabrielle Popa), have been left to fend for themselves while their husband and father, Confederate soldier John Ellis (Bren Foster), is away at war, with his whereabouts unknown. Food is scarce, and so is hope in Sarah, as she is haunted by dreams of her husband being killed on the battlefield. Adding to the strife, the couple’s infant son had recently succumbed to scarlet fever.
Viewers will sympathize with the plight of Sarah and Melody, but circumstances prove that they are tough cookies, bouncing back many times when confronted with danger. I suppose they don’t have any other option. When the battle comes to their backyard, Sarah fearlessly grabs her rifle, and she and Melody head to their bunker. The young mother later fends off ruthless men aiming to prey on her.
In the aftermath of the battle on Sarah’s property, a Yankee soldier (Jason Gedrick) — the enemy — is left wounded, and she chooses to nurse him back to health, despite the risky consequences of doing so. Thus sparks a (far-fetched) romance between the widower and Sarah. Their happily ever after is interrupted when the soldier returns to fight in the war, leaving questions as to what the future holds for the small family unit.
War Flowers opens with battle scenes that unconvincingly seek to set the tone (they resemble a poor Civil War re-creation, with costumes that look brand new). However, the drama redeems itself with moments of suspense and a commendable effort on the part of Ricci.