Bless the Child is a 2000 American supernatural thriller film directed by Chuck Russell, starring Kim Basinger, Angela Bettis, Rufus Sewell, Christina Ricci, and Holliston Coleman. It is based on the novel of the same name by Cathy Cash Spellman.
Maggie O'Connor's life revolves around her job as a nurse at a busy New York hospital, until one rainy night, her sister Jenna abandons her newborn autistic daughter, Cody, at her home. Maggie takes Cody in, and she becomes the daughter she never had.
Six years later, Jenna suddenly re-appears with a mysterious new husband, Eric, and abducts Cody. Despite the fact that Maggie has no legal rights to Cody, FBI agent John Travis, an expert in ritual murder and occult-related crime, takes up her cause when he realizes that Cody shares the same birth date as several other recently missing children.
Cody, it soon becomes clear, is more than simply "special." She manifests extraordinary powers that the forces of evil have waited centuries to control, and her abduction sparks a clash between the soldiers of good and evil that can only be resolved, in the end, by the strength of one small child and the love she inspires in those she touches.
- Kim Basinger as Maggie O'Connor
- Angela Bettis as Jenna O'Connor
- Rufus Sewell as Eric Stark
- Christina Ricci as Cheri Post
- Holliston Coleman as Cody O'Connor
- Jimmy Smits as Agent John Travis
- Michael Gaston as Detective Frank Bugatti
- Lumi Cavazos as Sister Rosa
- Ian Holm as Reverend Grissom
Bless the Child received almost universally negative reviews from critics, with Rotten Tomatoes giving this film a 3% rating and is ranked #29 on their worst-reviewed films of the last decade. Film critic Bruce Kirkland felt that Bless the Child was mocking Scientology in the guise of the fictional cult "The New Dawn".
Box office Edit
The film opened at #7 at the North American box office making $9.4 million in its opening weekend.
The film was nominated for one Razzie Award, Worst Actress for Kim Basinger, along with I Dreamed of Africa.
Some critics have perceived Bless the Child as mocking Scientology. In the film, the fictionalized cult "The New Dawn" mimics Scientology's symbols and rhetoric.