At 31, Josh Francis hasn’t found his niche in life. He’s good at many things, but nothing has provided meaning. Believing he’s at a point where he cannot hope that his life will get better, he commits to find a new life by traveling for a year. Enroute to a stock-hand job at a cattle farm, he finds himself completely lost in a forest. He comes across a manicured path that leads to two broken gates, beyond them a beautiful Victorian homestead. He mistakes the place as his employer’s home, but soon discovers that not only is this not the cattle station, it may very well be a physical entrance to heaven; a place where souls come to remember how to love. With the help of the homestead’s Custodian, Josh learns that everyone must choose to enter Heaven of their own accord, but first they must allow themselves to love and be loved. He ultimately realizes that maybe his stumbling upon this place was no accident at all.
“The Custodian” is a thought-provoking film about choices. Are people miserable because they choose to be? Hitch-hiker Josh Francis (Ty Hungerford) is a 31-year-old Australian who has a conversation with a truck driver named Bill about his search for deeper meaning in life. Josh has taken a year’s sabbatical from his job as an insurance assessor. He wanted to be a psychologist at one point, but the money he was making was too good to give up. But now he feels the need to search for answers about the meaning of life.
Josh wanders into a beautiful home in the country and meets a man named Gideon (Frank Sczygiol), who he learns he is a custodian of sorts. He helps people with their entry into eternity. Gideon teaches Josh that people who lose hope are trapped, just as the souls are in a rustic and ugly building near the beautiful one. They are souls that came by but had lost hope. One woman who comes by the beautiful building is Veronica, who is searching for her sister Tasha. Veronica can’t forgive herself for walking out on Tasha’s wedding because she wished it was her and not Tasha getting married. Josh and Gideon encourage her to forgive herself.
The film takes a unique approach to the subject of forgiving one’s self and keeping hope alive. In the end of the story, Gideon moves on and someone else must become the custodian. Performances by Ty Hungerford as Josh and Frank Sczygiol as Gideon are powerful, as they express pain and regret very well. This movie will encourage viewers to reflect on their lives and consider if they are stalled in some areas. We are awarding it our Dove Seal for ages twelve plus. The movie encourages the audience to look back at the road leading to the present, reflect on that road, and realize that everyone has a free will.