Lin Weeks Wilder

Lin Weeks Wilder


Same Kind of Different as Me, the Movie

Same kind of different as me, the movie

“Sometimes you successful folks can rise up so high reaching for more stuff that you miss knowing God. But you can never stoop low to help somebody and have God miss knowing you”
― Denver Moore

I’d never heard of this film or the book and for the first ten, maybe fifteen minutes, disliked it. I kept hoping that my husband John would feel the same way and turn it off… and find something absorbing. Although I knew Renee Zellweger played the leading female role, she looked too different to captivate me. The Zellweger of Cold Mountain and Chicago looks nothing like Renee in the 2017 film, Same Kind of Different as Me,. Unrecognizable.

But the quality of her acting hasn’t changed- if anything, she’s better. Quite a statement because I thought she was extraordinary in Cold Mountain and Chicago.

Noticing that John seemed to like the movie, I kept my mouth shut and now smile ruefully at the speed with which I can form a judgement. And be wholly wrong.

This is an excellent film; it’s excellence is primarily due to Renee Zellweger. Before explaining more, just a couple of reminders about the concept of excellence:

  • It’s rare.
  • And shouts its presence.
  • Because so much is merely acceptable…truthfully, mediocre.
  • True in everything from meals to art to books to sports to movies.
  • We know it when we see it

By fifteen or twenty minutes into the movie, I was riveted.


Zellweger’s outstanding performance.

This is a true story

of Debbie Hall”s dream. And the integration of an unlikely trio: Debbie, her wealthy international art dealer husband Ron, and Denver Moore, a homeless paranoid black homeless man. After that first fifteen minutes when it felt like just another banal tale of an unhappy marriage, that is.

For those of us familiar with the personalities involved in homeless shelters and kitchens, the depiction and personalities of the shelter in Fort Worth is a familiar one. The character Denver Moore seems hopelessly enraged, paranoid and murderous. In the “old days” he’d have been locked up as a paranoid schitzophrenic.

Here is how the authors’ website describes the film:

A dangerous, homeless drifter who grew up picking cotton in virtual slavery.

An upscale art dealer accustomed to the world of Armani and Chanel.

A gutsy woman with a stubborn dream.

A story so incredible no novelist would dare dream it.

It begins outside a burning plantation hut in Louisiana… and an East Texas honky-tonk… and, without a doubt, in the heart of God. It unfolds in a Hollywood hacienda… an upscale New York Gallery… a downtown dumpster… a Texas ranch. Gritty with pain and betrayal and brutality, it also shines with an unexpected, life-changing love.

Renee Zollweger’s Debby Moore is spellbinding.

Neither overwritten or overacted, Zollweger’s Debbie is a woman to learn from, even maybe imitate.

Certainly to remember. And the transformation of the hate-filled Denver Moore is far too implausible to be fiction.

“Mr. Ron, I was captive in the devil’s prison. That was easy for Miss Debbie to see. But I got to tell you: Many folks had seen me behind the bars in that prison for more than thirty years, and they just walked on by. Kept their keys in their pocket and left me locked up. Now I ain’t tryin to run them other folks down, ’cause I was not a nice fella-dangerous-and prob’ly just as happy to stay in prison. But Miss Debbie was different–she seen me behind them bars and reached way down in her pocket and pulled out the keys God gave her and used one to unlock the prison door and set me free.”Denver Moore, Same Kind of Different as Me

And here is just one more of Denver Moore’s keen observations:

“when you is precious to God, you is important to Satan. Watch your backside, somethin’ is gettin’ ready to happen”

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Lin Wilder

Lin Wilder has a doctorate in Public Health from the UT Houston with a background in cardiopulmonary physiology, medical ethics, and hospital administration. 

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