‘Jack Of The Red Hearts’: Lifetime Movie About Autistic Child Is Inspired By A True Story Of Autism

Jack of the Red Hearts is a heartwarming original film that will air on Lifetime this Saturday. A compelling film about autism and the role it plays in families, Jack of the Red Hearts feels authentic and real. It is directed by Janet Grillo and written by Jennifer Deaton. This must-see movie is inspired by a true story.

Jack of the Red Hearts Movie Synopsis

Jack of the Red Hearts follows the story of Jack, a streetwise runaway who is on the run from her probation officer. Jack and her little sister have had a difficult time in life since the death of their mother. Jumping from foster home to foster home, what Jack wants more than anything is the chance to be on her own and to raise her little sister. Now, she’s escaped for one last time and is in deeper trouble with the law. To make matters worse, social services has her sister in custody and will soon place her in another foster home, but this time without Jack.

In a panic, Jack needs to figure out how to make a living and get her sister back. To pull this off, Jack needs a steady job. When she learns that a suburban family is looking for someone to take care of their daughter, she jumps at the chance.

But, getting the job won’t be easy with Jack’s background, so she decides to change her name to Donna — a woman who has already submitted her application. What Jack doesn’t know is that this is no ordinary family, but a family who needs a caretaker who is professionally trained to deal with their low-functioning 11-year-old autistic child, named Glory.

To Jack’s surprise, she has walked into a situation that is more complex than she could have imagined, but she’s tough and is determined to make it work.

In time, Jack proves to be an excellent caretaker for Glory, and the deep connection that she has made with Glory and her mother only heightens her experience. But, the bond between them is threatened to be broken forever after Jack’s past catches up with her and the truth comes out that she has been lying the entire time.

Lifetime’s Jack of the Red Hearts — True Story

Director Janet Grillo was impressed with the movie script from the first day she read it due to its authentic feel. She realized that this film was not just a film about “quirky geniuses,” but it became obvious that whoever wrote the script has a deep knowledge about autism and how real families are living with it daily, something that Janet Grillo believes many movies miss when they approach the subject, according to Madison House Autism Foundation.

“My strong feeling is that in the majority of narrative feature films, the depiction of autism has been largely that of the ‘quirky geniuses.’ The Asperger’s-type profile. They’re either highly verbal, have some incredible skill set, and they seem like people that with certain supports could go forward and have an independent life… while the vast majority will not. We must share in a clear and honest way what autism really looks like.”

Told with sympathy and compassion, Jack of the Red Hearts gives a true portrayal of children on the low-functioning spectrum of autism. The movie is inspired by the niece of writer Jennifer Deaton. And the Lifetime movie details many of the struggles that her family faced while raising a non-verbal child with autism. In that same interview with Madison House, Deaton states the following.

Well, at the time I wrote the film, I wasn’t aware of autism in the national conversation so much as I was aware of my ‘personal island.’ I knew autism from my family and so much has changed – I mean, this was before anyone knew what gluten-free was. We were struggling to try everything because there were just so many different things being suggested besides dietary stuff but also things like joint compressions.”

Filmed in New York City and produced by Sundia Pictures, Jack of the Red Hearts stars AnnaSophia Robb, and Israel Broussard, Sophia Anne Caruso, according to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB). Set your timers for this Saturday, April 23, at 8/7 p.m. central on Lifetime. Last week, Lifetime debuted Stolen from the Suburbs.

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