I think that is was a great film, and the lighting helped in setting the mood in the film. The soft lighting showed a calm and relaxed environment at the orphanage. The costumes of the characters helped to set the time frame that the film had taken place. I defiantly recommend it for viewing.
While I get the moral of the story and I think the protagonist's character narrative arc ـــ besides that I was invested in it as a whole ـــ do the moral justice, the touchy themes that are tackled here feel utterly awkward and even strangely disturbing, especially given the sentimental tone the film approaches its story with. That overall resulted in a film that there's no right demography for. I wonder whether John Irving's novel itself is muddled like this or is it the screenplay, also written John Irving, intentionally glossed over said themes in order to match Hallström's sweet-natured direction, which I have no problem with to be clear. One last issue I have, I think the first 15-20 minutes are slightly overly-expository, unfocused and jumpy, and therefore it took me a while to be invested in the story.
However, I think I liked it a little. I was quite invested in the character of Homer Wells as I mentioned but other than that, I think all all the performances are great: Paul Rudd really surprised me in this dramatic role; Michael Caine is great as ever even if I still believe Tom Cruise deserved the Oscar for best supporting role in Magnolia more than him; Charlize Theron really brought her character to life; and Tobey Maguire delivered one of his best performances to say the least. Moreover, I was somewhat moved by the many storylines that concern the orphanage. (6.5/10)
Homer Wells is one of the most boring characters I've seen in quite some time. Like mega boring. To the point where his blank expression, small, peach-like face, and ineffectual dialogue began making me madder and madder as the movie went on. So you can see why I thought it was completely over the moon that the hottest girl in the universe leaves the world's sexiest man for him.