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Hallmark Hall of Fame’s Away & Back Preview [VIDEO and PHOTOS]

Photo Credit: Erik Heinila/Crown Media United States LLC

Photo Credit: Erik Heinila/Crown Media United States LLC

[Warning: General spoilers ahead.]

Hallmark Hall of Fame’s latest entry, Away & Back, premieres Sunday night on Hallmark Channel, and it’s a lovely film about a family that’s healed by the arrival of trumpeter swans on their land, and the pushy but compassionate wildlife biologist who soon follows.

Photo Credit: Erik Heinila/Crown Media United States LLC

Photo Credit: Erik Heinila/Crown Media United States LLC

Photo Credit: Erik Heinila/Crown Media United States LLC

Photo Credit: Erik Heinila/Crown Media United States LLC

Jason Lee (Memphis Beat) and Minka Kelly (Almost Human) headline as Jack Peterson, who owns the family farm where the swans take roost (spoiler alert for the kids–one dies early in the film, the morning after the Peterson children disturb the nest of eggs and upset the parents, although that causality is not addressed), and Ginny Newsom, the ornithologist who comes to help. The stars of the film, however, are the swans themselves, and Maggie Elizabeth Jones (Ben and Kate, We Bought A Zoo) as Jack’s 10 year-old daughter, Frankie, who takes the initiative to help nature out when her dad would rather leave nature alone. Also look for Jarod Joseph from The 100, as Ginny’s friend and co-worker, Tim.

It’s a gorgeous movie–filmed in Alberta, Canada–with several quiet, thoughtful moments throughout as the family and Ginny bring out the best in each other while working together to protect the birds. There is a romance, but it’s secondary to the larger story of Frankie’s bond with Ginny and the swans.

Lee is a treat playing a grounded dad who’s trying to do right by his family (and the swans) and still have a life after the loss of his wife–I’m so glad he was cast in this. Kelly is very good as a woman who’s completely invested in the animals under her care, but not so much in people (initially).  I definitely recommend.

Photo Credit: Erik Heinila/Crown Media United States LLC

Photo Credit: Erik Heinila/Crown Media United States LLC

Photo Credit: Erik Heinila/Crown Media United States LLC

Photo Credit: Erik Heinila/Crown Media United States LLC

Photo Credit: Erik Heinila/Crown Media United States LLC

Photo Credit: Erik Heinila/Crown Media United States LLC

Away & Back premieres Sunday at 8/7c on the Hallmark Channel. Here’s a sneak peek:

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