When beginning to research adoption, I did look into doing foster care and adopting an older child from the state. Of course I heard all of the horrible stories about damaged children who were abused and neglected. What I found out with further research is that many of these children are not hard to place because of severe disabilities or emotional dysfunctions (attachment disorders)….if you look on your state website for children in the foster care system who need adoptive parents, you will see children with Asthma or children with three siblings. In many states, being any race besides Caucasian qualifies the child to be considered hard to place and children of an older age are also in that group! I did adopt my daughter at birth and not from the foster care system. As always, I have no clue what was in the preview or what you do or do not know about this film, if you do not want to be spoiled, don’t read any further!
I really liked this movie but some parts just seemed strange to me. The foster child’s weirdness seemed a bit unbelievable to me. I am all for children being unique and different but this was just a little over the top! And why did that child speak in a whisper for the whole movie? It was based on a true story and I have not read the book yet, but to me it seemed a bit extreme for a child who is different from his peers. The best part of the film for me personally is when David (the adoptive father) walks out of his sister’s house on Christmas because she suggested returning the boy to foster care. Children who were adopted are no different from birthchildren, there are no returns and who would want to return their child anyway?
David’s wife passed away two years ago and he is thinking of adopting a child as they had wanted. His sister gives all of the reasons why this is a bad idea and we know how those reasons flow off the tip of the tongue for people who easily get pregnant and have children! Then the foster care agency calls with just the right kid for David. Dennis is a little boy who thinks he is a Martian, it takes a while actually to see Dennis as he stays inside of a box to hide from the sun. Why is he the perfect choice for David? David writes science fiction novels and movies! This was a match made in Heaven! So they go home together and meet the family dog. The boy does some odd things like collecting bits and pieces from people around him….or stealing according to how it is viewed. This collection gets him in hot water more than once. The agency is giving David a trial run on this and if the boy continues to exhibit odd behavior, this might not be the right placement. Dennis is kicked out of school for being different and odd.
The new father is incredibly patient and understanding about the boy’s habits. He sees so much of himself in this kid that he relates! The little boy barely speaks and when he does, he is whispering. I was worried about the child’s diet as he would only eat a sugary cereal—nothing else! Eventually things happen, accidents happen, that cause a breakthrough with the boy….dishes are broken, foods are spilled, and the boy finally looks happy for the first time! The ending was a surprise to me, I wasn’t expecting something so dramatic. Will the boy get to stay with David or will he return to Mars as he expects? Will David’s sister ever accept this kid into the family? Will Dennis ever fit in?
I enjoyed this film. Very touching and warm. I did expect more anger from a child from foster care and mistrust. I didn’t get that vibe from the child in the movie. It was more of a distant silent vibe! Overall I thought it was well done and the actors were realistic besides some of the boy’s more odd behaviors. Expect to feel amazement, surprise, shock, sadness, happiness, and fear while watching the Martian Child. Based on a true story so you will also be intensely interested in this real life story of a foster child.