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Hannah Free (DVD Review)

18 Apr, 2010 By: Billy Gil

Prebook 4/20/10; Street 6/1/10
$24.95 DVD
Not rated.
Stars Sharon Gless.

Sharon Gless (Cagney of “Cagney & Lacey”) stars in this drama that plays a little like a lesbian Brokeback Mountain.

Gless plays Hannah, an elderly woman whose longtime lover, Rachel, is near the end of her life. Although they are both in the same care home, Rachel’s daughter won’t allow Hannah to be with Rachel during her final days, due to Hannah’s wandering nature having taken a toll on Rachel and her children over the years.

Although Hannah Free takes on complex family issues, it doesn’t quite escape the “Lifetime” tag of overt sentimentality. The film falls all too easily into dramatic outpourings, tell-don’t-show moments and awkward scenes such as Hannah and Rachel kissing as children.

However, the film gains some heft in the end, when Rachel’s impending death, and an unexpected young visitor who takes an interest in Hannah, force familial reconciliation. For all its efforts, I would have liked to see Hannah Free go further in its discussion of what defines a family. As it stands, viewers mostly get sappy paeans to enduring love.

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