This touching drama, spanning nearly 20 years, begins in rural Mississippi in 1945 when a woman receives the life-altering news that her fifth child has Downs syndrome. The CBS presentation airs Wednesday, 2/7/01 at 9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT.
Desperately wanting her daughter to beat the odds, Jewel focuses her undivided attention and love upon the child and, as a result, begins to ignore the rest of her family.
At first, this subject matter may seem a bit too depressing for a family film, but if you stick with it, you will find the opposite to be true. Although it is heart breaking to see a child suffer in any way, the child in this production symbolizes the strife every family must face at some point. Here, Jewel, her husband, and their brood must deal with an enormous challenge, but they do so with much love and support. These characters have a respect for life, for God, and for each other. Cynicism is not a part of this film – how nice and how rare.
“Jewel” verifies the importance of family. While the film doesn’t delve into the family’s religious beliefs, much like the book it is based upon, there is a prayer in the beginning, indicating that they are Christians. Lessons are learned and struggles are defeated by showing a family that clings together.
An engaging script and a dynamic performance from the film’s star, plus a regard for, dare I say it – family values, make for an exceptional evening in front of the television set.