Books Article

The Simple Life of Noah Dearborn ( 1999 )

On Oct 21, 2016 04:41 PM EDT
The Simple Life of Noah Dearborn ( 1999 )

Today I was privileged to watch a Christian movie on youtube called The Simple Life of Noah Dearborn ( 1999 ). It stars the veteran actor Sidney Poitier as Noah Dearborn , a 91- year- old carpenter/ woodworker . Noah has lived his entire life in a small rural Georgia town and is a fixture in the community. It seems as though time has largely passed him by. He looks decades younger than his age, drives a 1930's car, has no electricity in the home he has lived in from childhood. 

One day, a real estate developer stops by with an offer to buy his land for a large price, but Noah has no desire to sell his land, saying he would have no place to go. When the developer ,Christian Nelson, fails to get a deal made, he asks his psychiatrist girlfriend, Dr. Valerie Crane, to find out what she can about Noah. The plan is to get him committed to a psychiatric hospital as a person unfit to continue to live on his own.  Gradually she starts to realize what a remarkable man Noah Dearborn is, but never-the-less, police are sent to bring him into a hospital for " evaluation ".  She helps get him released, but despite her efforts to assist him, developers start digging up his land in order to build a shopping center.  She has an automobile accident while rushing to confront the developers on Noah's behalf. Noah, who has been avoiding modernizing his life, living simply and entirely for woodworking in his town,  punches  developer Nelson, in an act of righteous anger. He visits Valerie in the hospital and prays for healing of her broken leg. He sees his neighbor Sarah ( Dianne Wiest ) also visiting her, and after many years of casual friendship ( Sarah relates that she used to break her furniture in order to get Noah to come over to fix it), they start a closer relationship. The movie ends happily with the news that the developers have decided to build elsewhere, Noah is opening up his self-sheltered, uni-purposed life, and is capped off with Valerie buying Noah the little dog they looked at earlier in a pet shop window. Although always a good, kind, hard-working man, Noah is now increasingly able to give and receive love and be happy. A very touching, enjoyable movie that I was happy to have watched.


Richard Cerruti --- Oct. 20, 2016

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