Jewel | 2000
In rural 1945 Mississippi, Jewel Hilburn and her husband Leston have four healthy children. At the age of 40, Jewel gives birth to Brenda Kay, a fifth child with Down's Syndrome. Desperately wanting the child to beat the odds, Jewel focuses her undivided attention and love upon the child and, as a result, begins to virtually ignore the rest of her family. Several years later, the ever-hopeful Jewel even chooses to uproot the family -- to enroll Brenda Kay at a special school in California that has allegedly raised the IQs of "mentally retarded" children. After 10 years at the school, however, it becomes painfully clear that the now 18-year-old Brenda Kay will never surpass the mental age of 6. Yet, by continuing to baby her, Jewel inadvertently makes the girl more dependent on her than necessary. Ultimately, the needs of Jewel's other children and her young grandchildren force her to reevaluate what is best for Brenda Kay, herself and her entire family.