Foster (2011)

foster poster 2011 movie christmas angel in the house
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 6/10

Decent cast

Cheap looking and predictable story

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Foster (Angel in the House)

Studio:  Reliance Big Picture

Genre(s):  Family/Drama

Release Date(s):  July 28, 2011 (London UK Film Focus)/November 5, 2012 (UK)

MPAA Rating:  PG


I see dead people…

Alec (Ioan Gruffudd) and his wife Zooey (Toni Collette) are trying to start their lives again after a tragedy but face challenges when Zooey finds she can’t seem to conceive.  Deciding on potentially adopting, Zooey and Alec are faced with the sudden and arrival of a child named Eli (Maurice Cole).  Eli seems to be much wiser than his age, and Eli finds that the family is struggling with bills and Alec’s failing toy business.  With the help of a homeless man named Mr. Potts (Richard E. Grant), Eli could be the change that Alec and Zooey need.

Written and directed by Jonathan Newman, Foster was based on Newman’s short film of the same name from 2005.  The movie was released under multiple names and is sometimes called Angel in the House or Christmas Angel in the House.  It received mostly positive reviews from critics.


So I get to sleep in a nice cushy house and you have to sleep in the park…seems fair.

When I saw this movie is was called Christmas Angel in the House, and though it is a nice family movie, I feel that this title gives way too much away.  I guess I should enact a *****Spoiler Alert***** but I do feel that most of the plot is pretty transparent.

The movie is based around essentially a Jerry Maguire type kid who like someone like Macaulay Culkin sounds more adult than most regular children.  It is obvious that there is something odd about the whole thing since he’s smart, has a seemingly endless supply of money, and connection to a homeless man, but I do suppose that the movie is more targeted to children (who I feel will be bored with the romance aspect.

I have never been much of an Ioan Gruffudd fan and always felt he was a rather generic actor.  Fortunately Gruffudd is tied to the always charming and fun Toni Collette who brings a real humanity to the film.  Despite the fact that I find precocious child actors kind of creepy and overdone, Maurice Cole’s performance is nice and it is unfortunately that it does feel so derivative of other similar characters.  It was also nice to see Hayley Mills playing the head of the orphanage.


If you don’t pick up an angel’s sales pitch do you go to Hell?

The movie looks rather low budget and I can’t help but feel that it doesn’t rise above a TV movie.  The sets and even the trip to Legoland feel cheap and unrealistic…I do wish I could live in England in a huge house and run a failing toy company with a bookstore on the side.

Call if Foster or Angel in the House, the movie is rather simple but wholesome.  It doesn’t feel quite as schmaltzy as a Hallmark film and the Christmas ties are very weak.  It is a nice, non-threatening family film that is rather predictable but at least has a decent cast pulling it off.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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