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      Buttons: A Christmas Tale

      PG Released Dec 17, 2020 1h 55m Kids & Family Holiday Musical List
      Reviews 40% Audience Score Fewer than 50 Ratings Two orphan girls have only one wish: to find a home for Christmas. With a little help from their guardian angels, they discover that miracles really can happen when you find the power to believe. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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      Audience Reviews

      View All (7) audience reviews
      Audience Member So many things should have been right with this movie, but somehow went wrong. So much talent, so much potential…. Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 11/14/22 Full Review Charles T Despite a name cast that any film producer would kill for, this scant musical is a disaster from start to finish. A little orphaned girl named Emily (Noelle E Parker) is visited by kindly Rose (Angela Lansbury) while recovering in a hospital. Rose reads Emily a fairy tale featuring Annabelle (Alivia Clark) and her own adventures under the watchful eye of her guardian angel (Dick Van Dyke) during the American Industrial Revolution. Read through this supporting cast list: Ioan Gruffudd, Roma Downey, Jane Seymour, Charles Shaughnessy, Robert Picardo, John de Lancie, with narration by Kate Winslet and Robert Redford. Wow, right? Wrong! Composer Tim Janis' direction is nothing short of abominable. His screenplay lifts from "Annie" and "Oliver!," and doesn't offer anything new. The film is cheap, with too many computer generated scenes. The framing of many scenes reminded me of Ed Wood's films, complete with jump cuts and blurred picture. This is a musical without one memorable song, as smiling extras look directly into the camera. Redford and Winslet's "narration" is literally a handful of words, with Winslet's coming over an odd opening credits sequence that had me thinking I was rewatching the trailer. Don't be fooled by the other reviews that point out that the film is a charitable effort to combat autism. That's no excuse, I doubt my own autistic family member would make it five minutes into this. Van Dyke and Lansbury try, but as they were getting on in years, Janis' camerawork lets both of them down. This mess has been released a few times, sports a number of subtitles, and I've seen three different running times for the film; I caught the 88 minute version. Watching this train wreck unfold, I wasn't fascinated but bored. There is no emotion and no heart. This is a shoddy, amateurish production that might appeal to your grandmother who finds "Green Acres" scandalous. A wasted opportunity, especially considering that cast. Rated 0.5 out of 5 stars 07/18/23 Full Review Lee A We just watched this & it's a charming Christmas story. Yes, it's a musical...corny at times, forced drama but the sets and cast are top notch. This is not a horrible movie by any means. Should be on Netflix as better than holiday movies offered there. The script needed a punch up as story falls short, but just enjoy the magic and stellar cast who deliver. The main lil girl stays bit too well coiffed, modern looking in this setting. She pulled us out of the timeline and her expressions bit bland. But Tim Janis music score is superb. He cowrote and directed - Bravo! It's difficult to get projects off the ground, so Cheers to all on a heartfelt fairytale. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/25/22 Full Review Audience Member This was one of the worst films I've ever seen. My entire family agreed. We even watched it all the way to the bitter end just to see if it got any better. It did not. I'm aghast to see any positive reviews at all because I know they are lies. Which tells me just how much people lie. Those reviews are shills. Trust me. This movie is among the small handful of worst movies ever made. I can't honestly think of any worst. The only positive thing was seeing duck van dyke and Angela lamdsbury. I have no idea how they afforded these two but they would have spent their money better on getting a better script writer and director. Also hiring a child who had to carry this movie who could actually do it. But I don't think anyone could because as I mentioned the script was terrible. Aileen Quinn from the original Annie couldn't have carried this film. Whoever wrote this didn't understand that you can't have disaster after disaster befall the main character without any positive things ever happening. Yes you want to make there be as much trouble for the main character as possible. But they should be able to figure things out snd have hope snd get better. This film was depressing and unbelievable because of this. And those who are people of faith giving this a giid review simply because it has an angel - you'd better go check your theology because the theology in this movie was horrible. The writer had obviously never picked up a Bible. The scenes weren't written well either and there were two forgettable songs about the same thing! Oh yes did I forget to tell you they made this a MUSICAL? I think that's why the acting wasn't so good. They needed people whi could act AND sing. And they shorted us on acting to get better singers. Oh I could go on all day. Let me just say I paid $1.50 to rent this at Redbox and normally I wouldn't care about a buck fifty but I WANT MY MONEY BACK. It was that bad. Rated 1 out of 5 stars 01/27/23 Full Review Audience Member The songs were cute but not memorable. The acting was fine. The characters were bland but not horrible. The nods to Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins dancing with the penguins and Angela Lansbury and the teapot from Beauty and the Beast were cute. SPOILERS It was cute and sweet though non-sensical. The drama of the film is extremely forced. The trials the main character goes through are very weird if you know anything about the late 1800-early1900s. While many widows may have faced much of what Annabell's mother faces, she was the wife of a captain and would have had his pension, been able to sell their belongings in the house, and been able to rent or buy a small house or apartment. She also could have picked up domestic work, teaching, and many other lady-like professions within her town so wouldn't have ended up at the Mill. Also during that time, her step-sister wouldn't have turned her away as appearances were everything in high society. Taking in her widowed step-sister would have been seen as a very positive thing and boosted her social standing. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 01/26/23 Full Review Audience Member All those big stars + a terrible script = a not-very-good movie. So sorry to say. Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 02/10/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      Buttons: A Christmas Tale

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      Cast & Crew

      Movie Info

      Synopsis Two orphan girls have only one wish: to find a home for Christmas. With a little help from their guardian angels, they discover that miracles really can happen when you find the power to believe.
      Director
      Tim Janis
      Producer
      Elizabeth Demmer
      Screenwriter
      Elizabeth Demmer, Tim Janis
      Distributor
      Fathom Events
      Production Co
      Paramount
      Rating
      PG (Thematic Elements)
      Genre
      Kids & Family, Holiday, Musical
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Dec 17, 2020, Limited
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Oct 24, 2019
      Runtime
      1h 55m
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