An uplifting film that unwinds gently and purposefully like a skein of yarn in a grandmother’s loving hands, “The Colors of Emily” tugs at your heart as its plot needlepoints to a surprisingly satisfying conclusion. Helmed by Chip Rossetti and written by M.T. Arnold and Timothy Paul Taylor, the faith-based family drama unites art, sisterhood, cathartic healing, and a nefarious lawyer seeking wealth and power.
When troubled art buyer Kate (Jenn Gotzon) skips her therapy session to “find her edge” in the town of New Harmony, she is drawn into the life of Emily Burton (Brittany Mann), a blind young artist with a mysterious past. Seemingly innocuous at first, the story presents our Kate with a full palette of conspiracy, murder, and intrigue. Does Gotzon’s Kate accept the challenge? Will she discover the truth about Emily? Initially aloof and too city-bred for the inhabitants of New Harmony, Kate opens up to the warmth and compassion of the people around her. As the unexpected visitor, Gotzon adds depth to Kate as the town’s curious interloper.
Kate learns much about the town and its troubled past through Emily’s paintings (completed before Emily lost her sight). Others, like the town’s bearded sage John Legna (David Ross), wise-cracking waitress Nadia (Doris Collier), and Chief Carl Jackson (Mardell Elmer) help keep Kate and viewers up to speed on the goings-on in New Harmony.
There’s also the beginnings of a budding romance with the town’s lawman Jacob Walls (Jim E. Chandler), who strives to keep Kate out of harm’s way. Not surprisingly, Kate’s relationship with Emily is the shot in the arm that energizes her to help sleuth out the killer. In the process, we’re treated to some interesting plot twists that revolve around Emily’s family and the town.
Despite a bit of staccato pacing and some stiff performances by a few supporting actors, one slowly forgives these peccadillos and engages in the film’s central mystery: who holds the oil leases to Emily’s land? And who is committing murder to secure them?
Faith-based with a cuddly warm ending, “The Colors of Emily” is an enjoyable drama one can watch with the entire family.