Tristan Whitman
Minnie Driver stars in a scene from "TAKE." The movie, created by LDS filmmakers, is an intense look at the power of forgiveness.

TAKE *** 1/2

Produced by: Chet Thomas

Written by: Charles Oliver

Starring: Minnie Driver, Jeremy Renner, Bobby Coleman, Adam Rodriguez, David Denman

Length: 99 minutes

OREM — The LDS Film Festival has come of age with this clean but adult-themed movie that takes an intense look at extreme forgiveness and restorative justice.

Writer/director Charles Oliver, in his first feature-length film, has captured the essence of how forgiveness frees the soul. Oliver's special effects and colorization add to the film's intensity. The jumps from past to present are smooth and keep the audience wondering about the end result of it all.

The story line introduces us on one day to a mom (Minnie Driver), a dad and a son. We also meet a gambling addict (Jeremy Renner) trying to find money to pay a gambling debt. One moment of horrific terror leads the audience to the next day — the day of execution and coming to terms with what happened and the lives it changed.

All of the actors make these parts believable. particularly young actor Bobby Coleman, who plays the son. Coleman's character interpretation leaves the audience aching to reach out and help him.

"TAKE" does have a few things that would not be considered part of the LDS scene, such as Driver smoking. However, Oliver and his producers are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have taken great strides to make this a picture that makes you think without adding gratuitous scenes.

Shot on a small independent budget, this film can take on any movie produced in the big leagues. It has won numerous awards at other film festivals and is currently awaiting its theatrical release.

If you have the chance to see "TAKE," do it. Make sure that you go with a friend or companion — you will need to talk about it after you see it. It's that good and that memorable.

Kudos to Oliver. With a first film this good, one wonders what's next.