(Lisa recently discovered that she only has about 8 hours of space left on her DVR! It turns out that she’s been recording movies from July and she just hasn’t gotten around to watching and reviewing them yet. So, once again, Lisa is cleaning out her DVR! She is going to try to watch and review 52 movies by the end of Tuesday, December 6th! Will she make it? Keep checking the site to find out!)
A Mother’s Escape aired on Lifetime Movie Network on July 21st, 2016.
Reportedly based on a true story, A Mother’s Escape tells a story that, on its surface, should be familiar to anyone who has ever watched a Lifetime film. After an argument with her abusive husband, Murel (Tara Buck) grabs her young son, Kipp (Spencer Mabrey), jumps in a car, and takes off in search of a better life. When we first meet them, they’re driving through Oklahoma. They stop at the house of Murel’s mother, Tess (Beth Grant).
From the minute that we first see Murel and Kipp, we feel like they know them. Both Tara Buck and Spencer Mabrey inhabit these roles so completely that it’s easy to forget that we’re watching actors performing from a script. Refreshingly, the film makes not attempt to idealize Murel. She’s frequently immature and occasionally self-centered but the ultimately, she’s defined by her love for her son. When she briefly talks to her husband on the phone, Murel is briefly tempted to return to him. Like so many victims of abuse, she fears that she might not deserve better. Fortunately, Tess is there to bluntly tell her that she does deserve better.
And so does Kipp.
Though her husband is not Kipp’s biological father, he did adopt him when he and Murel married. After Murel leaves, he accuses her of kidnapping her own son. Now, Murel must keep Kipp safe while also trying to avoid capture.
As I said, this might sound like a typical Lifetime film. However, it doesn’t feel like a typical Lifetime film. It moves at its own slow but steady pace, taking the time to allow us to get to know both Murel and Kipp. As Kipp, Spencer Mabrey is refreshingly non-cutesy while Tara Buck gives an almost heart-breakingly poignant performance as his imperfect but loving mom. As an added bonus, this film features some hauntingly beautiful shots of the Oklahoma landscape.
Though it may require some patience, A Mother’s Escape is one of the best Lifetime films that I’ve seen in a while.