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‘June Again’ review: Heartwarming story knows where to place focus

Emotionally powerful.

The poster of June Again is enough to make potential audiences worry a little. With the phrase “Live again. Love again.” at the top, it is obvious the movie will tug at the heartstrings. The synopsis only adds to the apprehensive feeling. June (Noni Hazlehurst) decides to reenter the lives of her two adult children in order to help them get their lives back in order. The tables are soon turned and it is her children that have to help their sick mother.

It sounds like things are going to be too sappy to be enjoyable. The opening moments are emotionally powerful, but they also put aside these fears. June Again is a film filled with heart, but it is also one that never wears out its welcome. The story succeeds by leaning into June’s dementia without making it a source of sadness. Obviously, June Again has its more despondent moments, but these add to the story instead of taking it over. Somehow, the film is able to focus on the joy of family instead of the sadness of loss.

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This is completely due to the performances of the three main characters. Hazlehurst in particular is great in her role as the family matriarch who just wants to set things right again. June is funny and instantly likable. She goes through a range of emotions that flesh out the character and bring the audience into her world. There is never a feeling that June Again is manipulating emotions. Everything comes off as natural.

June Again can be a little too on the nose when it comes to the hardships the June’s children are dealing with. For all the emotional deftness of the writing, it is straight and to the point when it comes to what the family is dealing with. That being said, these situations are solely there for plot advancement. Ultimately, they propel a heartwarming story that is entertaining and fun.

June Again comes to theaters and VOD January 7

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