In case you need a refresher, here's the synopsis. But I think, much like with From Paris With Love, you've had a hard time getting over what you saw go down in this latest installment.
I quoted it in my GIF reaction to the synopsis, but unless you were willing to do the hard work of thinking it through, the following probably didn't make sense till you saw the film:
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet..." -William Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet
This Shakespeare quote is, in many ways, the crux of the film. Whether O'Toole or Schmidtz, Oliver is Oliver. Even more than that, his identity truly lay in something far greater, a truth quickly lost in the midst of an identity crisis. But, perhaps not surprisingly, it was Shane that finally reminded him of this critical truth.
So let's talk about that Oliver twist:
It's already been a tough week for Oliver, a week that swiftly rolled into two. Truth Be Told takes place the Monday after From Paris With Love ended. His marriage to Holly is finally over, and now this?
Reconnecting with an estranged parent is one thing. Finding out you were born out of wedlock to a man that didn't raise you, and with whom your mother had an affair is quite another. Then to have that man leave you an undisclosed inheritance that turns you into a CEO of a company that destroys perfectly good vinyl records---WOW!
And this is Oliver O'Toole we're talking about---who arranges his world, and the people in it, in a very particular way. This was an apocalypse for him.
From the way Eric played it, I was inclined to believe Oliver's world was, in fact, imploding. From facial expressions to his timing, not a single moment, emotion, or line of dialogue did Eric waste in telling Oliver's story. It was brilliant. I wish there was more I could say about it, but my mind is still blown---even after the [unmentionable] time watching it---at what he pulled off.
Who is starting the Emmy petition for Lead Actor in Made-For-TV Movie? Let's get on that, ok?
And, alongside Oliver for much of the journey, playing the patient and loving father whose greatest honor was raising him, Gregory Harrison matched Eric Mabius frame-for-frame. The energy between them was very much that of father and son from the moment Oliver retreated back into the DLO upon seeing dear old dad on the sorting floor. Despite the misconceptions and misunderstandings, you can tell this father knows his son and will fight for him, even as Oliver fights tooth and nail to reject him. Harrison executes that pursuit brilliantly.
And Papa O'Toole is also #TeamShOliver, and that's something we can all agree makes him an MVP.
Case in point: We need to have Gregory Harrison back as much as is possible! He's a real class act and he fits in like family.
Speaking of class act, let's take a second to talk about our girl Kristin. She got to flex a few acting muscles this time around. Kristin got to be funny, serious, frustrated, sad, flirty, flustered, supportive and probably a few more things, all of which allowed us to see a few different sides of Shane. I love both the actor and the character more with each movie. Of course, she probably knows that by now!
I love how Shane handled and supported Oliver during this installment---and while I could spend time talking about it here, I'll save that for a future post! It's pretty obvious these two have entered a new phase in their relationship---that's all I'll say for now.
Overall Kristin's performance was effortless. I wouldn't know Shane wasn't a real person, because she's never felt like a character to me. That's true talent.
Someone else who was having his best day ever was Geoff---who brought Norman to a whole new level in Truth Be Told. I feel like I fell in love with Norman all over again. They way he handled Phoebe's letter, the love and support he showed the teen by sharing his stories of being bullied as a kid, really brought out a more mature side of his character.
I couldn't have been prouder of Norman for reaching out to Oliver for advice about Rita and next steps. You would never have known he had a five year plan or his fears over different taste in furniture without that moment. Talk about speaking the truth! The best part is, he did what it takes to follow up by reading Renita Hayweather, Frontier Duchess---who expected THAT to turn back up?
And then there's our beautiful Crystal, whose wardrobe had me fighting the urge to online shop throughout the entire film---those shoes, you guys!
But what I really enjoyed about Rita in this installment is how she attempted to navigate a new phase in her relationship with Norman, allowing him to read Renita Hayweather, and even vowing to Phoebe to make sure her story has a happy ending. She demonstrates a gentle patience with Norman that is starting to pay out in dividends. Nothing better than an early morning date delivering a treasured gift to someone who really needed it!
Seeing where Rita is now as compared to where she was only a year ago is astounding in a lot of ways. Crystal has grown her into quite the woman, and both the actor, and the character, are an absolute joy to watch.
Martha Williamson---the Lord continues to work through you in amazing ways. You've created a world that so clearly and closely embraces life's complexity, and secured a cast that executes it beautifully, that I'm certain we should be handing you all the awards---twice. I walk away from each film emboldened to embrace each new challenge just to see how the Lord will work through the situation. Can't wait to see what the Lord does through you, and our beloved Postables, next!
Alright, Postables--- here starts the countdown to Impossible Dream! Thank goodness Hallmark saw fit to bless us with that brief, but nonetheless exciting, preview! Won't be long before I'm doing double-duty with Truth Be Told follow-ups and Impossible Dream exclusives. You know Scoops always has you covered!
Get excited for as many posts about Truth Be Told as I can crank out until the next masterpiece airs on October 4!
Leading The Charge,