AMERICA'S HEART AND SOUL is a big, beautiful love letter to America from film-maker Louis Schwartzberg. If Norman Rockwell made a movie, this would be it. If "America the Beautiful" was a movie, this would be it. If America had a home movie, this would be it. And if we ever needed a reminder of what can be proud of, what we aspire to, what we stand for -- this is it. The photography is stunning, the camera swooping over glorious vistas of trees and mountains and zooming in on the details of a car covered with bobbleheads or the indoor slide in the home built by Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry's.
The movie does not pretend to be comprehensive. It's just a kaleidoscope of images and impressions that come back to some basic themes, the ones that really are at the heart and soul of America: family, music, sports, freedom, laughter, passion for expressing ourselves, community, work, passion for our dreams, food, and...vehicles. Each of the stories is touching, funny, thrilling, inspiring, or all of the above at the same time. Yes, it's corny, but corny isn't necessarily less smart than cynicism. And sometimes we need a little corn to remind us that even in a troubling and complicated time, we can still feel proud of our shared dream of freedom and freedom to dream. At a moment when America is finding it hard to remember a reason to feel proud, this movie is a powerful reminder. It's one that parents should share with children to inspire them to think about their own stories and their own dreams.