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A Shine of Rainbows

Movie Info


PG for some thematic elements, mild peril and smoking.


Art/Foreign, Drama and Adaptation


March 15, 2011


Connie Nielsen, Aidan Quinn, John Bell


Vic Sarin


20th Century Fox


Christian Movie Reviews

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In providing movie reviews on our site, is not endorsing or recommending films we review. Our goal is to provide Christians with information about the latest movies, both the good and the bad, so that our readers may make an informed decision as to whether or not films are appropriate for them and their families.


A Shine of Rainbows

By Hannah Goodwyn Producer
An independent, foreign film with numerous festival awards, A Shine of Rainbows offers tender movie moments. Released to DVD on March 15, this warmhearted, kid-friendly film, starring Connie Nielsen and Aidan Quinn, could move any audience – old and young.

Drawing from Lillian Beckwith’s novel, Emmy winning director Vic Sarin has crafted an inspiring, engaging story about a young Irish boy who wants nothing more than a little love and joy in his miserable life. Except for some references to mystical powers, the film’s strong message about the incredibly emotional bond between mother, and father, and son make it a worthy rental.

The Movie in a Minute

Orphaned at a young age, Tomas finds it hard to remember a good day. As the “runt of the litter”, he has no real friends at the home, where the other boys tease him because of his frail frame and stammer. A ray of color and light enters his dark world when Maire adopts him, taking him across the sea to an island cottage. Alec, Maire's fisherman husband, initially refuses to accept Tomas as his boy, intimidating him at every turn. Their encounters don’t cloud his new life though, as he begins to make friends at his new school and starts taking care of a stranded pup seal near the shore. Tomas’ isle adventure is at times stormy, but rainbow promises keep hope afloat.

What Works -- and Doesn't -- in A Shine of Rainbows

Connie Nielsen, of Hollywood blockbuster Gladiator, shines beautifully in this film about a woman who desperately wants to be a mother. Co-star Aidan Quinn, who is best known for his acting in Legends of the Fall, easily matches the on-screen intensity of Nielsen’s Maire. Reluctant at first to open his home to a boy who is not their own, Alec has to make a choice for adoption or against it causing palpable tension between him and Tomas. A Shine of Rainbows introduces us to a new talent in the acting world, young Scottish actor John Bell. His sincere and stirring portrayal as vulnerable Tomas is one to remember.

Well directed and co-written by Vic Sarin, A Shine of Rainbows is a quality family film. However, some may find the mystical moments in Tomas’ story unsettling. Most of these references are made as the characters talk about an ancient stone they call a king and the seals that come up to the shoreline of their emerald isle. The stone rock is said to be able to “grant a worthy wish” and the seals can pass on messages to those who have left this world. A source of comfort to the grieved boy, Tomas whispers his messages to the seals and believes they take them to the beyond. Faith is introduced in the form of a priest at a crucial moment in the film; but his words and presence in Tomas’ life is short-lived. Rated PG for some thematic elements, mild peril, and smoking, the content is suitable for most children.

Final Say

Chalking the iffy magic bits to this film’s legend feel, A Shine of Rainbows comes across as a heartwarming tale of a young boy who finds love in the arms of a family and how we can help each other heal in times of grief.

Hannah GoodwynHannah Goodwyn is the Family and Entertainment producer for For more articles and information, visit Hannah's bio page.

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