V.C. Andrews’ Pearl in the Mist (2021 Lifetime)
Synopsis (via Lifetime)
Based on the second book, Pearl in the Mist finds Ruby still struggling to find true happiness after a year of living at her father’s lavish mansion. When Ruby and her twin Giselle (Karina Banno) are sent away to an exclusive all-girls boarding school, Ruby is hopeful for a new start with her sister. But when Ruby is once again shamed for her backwater upbringing, and her cruel Headmistress, Mrs. Ironwood (Henner), along with her stepmother Daphne (Bell) and Giselle, continue to plot against her, Ruby must endure torturous punishments and public humiliation. Ruby holds out hope and continues to dream of a better future until tragedy leaves her alone in a world of deceits.
The movie starts Ruby and Beau making out on the bed. He wants to have sex and asks her to give him 15 seconds. (Haha, I’d give him 15 seconds any day!) They are having a quickie because Ruby and Giselle are heading off to a boarding school called Greenwood.
Mrs. Penny welcomes the twins to the school. Giselle is still entitled and rude. She throws her bags at her roommate Samatha. Ruby rooms with a girl named Abby (Who is bi-racial but hiding it because of social stigma in 1962.)
Mrs. Ironwood, the school superintendent (Played by a Marilu Henner knock-off.), warns Ruby that she knows she is a cajun girl and is not to be trusted. Ruby is upset that her fresh start is ruined; she cries in the woods. Abby checks in on her roommate and shares that she is a “half-breed.” A hunk gardener named Buck interrupts the conversation and tells them to head back to class. Later, Gisselle is very nosey about Abby’s secret.
The schoolgirls are introduced to Mrs. Clairborn and her grandson, Louie Clairborn, who plays piano and is blind. Ruby learns that he suffered a family tragedy that caused him to go blind with grief. Louie’s mother was having an affair with a younger man, and she was caught by her husband and killed in a murder-suicide. Louie witnessed the whole thing as a child and went into a coma. When he awoke, he was blind.
The Claibornes invites Ruby over for dinner. The murder was at 5:02, and all of the clocks in the Clairborn mansion are set to that time for eternity. At dinner, Ruby suggests seeing a witch doctor, like her Grandmother. It doesn’t go over well. Louie plays the piano for Ruby and asks her to touch her face, and then they almost kiss., but Ruby laughs and upsets him.
Beau visits the school to see Ruby. Giselle tries to start drama, but Beau isn’t falling for her tricks. Ruby and Beau have sex in a barn.
Later, at a school dance, Gisselle gives Ruby a flower to wear and tells her that she will be the fall mixer queen. She dances with one of the boys from the boys boarding school and flirts with Buck for a bit. Abby isn’t picked for dance, and Ruby demands to know what Giselle is up to. It is made clear when Giselle announces the winner is Abby and she is “part negro.” Ruby stands up for her friend and knocks her sister out of the wheelchair in front of everyone. Abby leaves the school because she is going to get kicked out anyway. (For allegedly leaving school grounds and NOT for being black. I’m not buying it.)
Louie starts to regain his eyesight and asks to see Ruby again. She reluctantly goes since their last interaction was so awkward. It doesn’t get any less so when Louie practically feels Ruby up while admitting to being sexually abused by his mother and physically father. Ruby comforts him as he relives his trauma. (It is disturbing material well-acted by Richard Harmon.)
Ruby and Giselle learn that their father is dead. Daphne will be handling his estate and tell her daughters that they will get their inheritance when they are 21. Ruby goes against Daphne’s wishes and tells Uncle Jean about his brother’s death. When Daphne finds out, she bans Ruby from the funeral. While she is upset, Beau makes her better with some S.E.X! (This time by a fireplace.)
Back at school, Ruby talks to Buck and flirts with him. Then she visits Louie, and he thanks her for helping him feel better. He is happy to have someone to trust. Too bad Ruby is expelled when Buck writes a letter to the superintendent admitting to multiple trysts with Ruby. (Giselle is behind it somehow, I’m assuming.) Louie comes to exonerate Ruby as her alibi. It is pretty badass.
Ruby talks to the eyewitness who testified against her in the school court. She sneaks into Giselle’s rooms and realzies that it was Giselle who was with Buck. Giselle comes into the room and WALKS. WALKS! She has been better for a while and has been faking needing the wheelchair for sympathy. (Rude.)
At Christmas, Daphne decides to announce she will marry Bruce. Giselle also share her surprise that she can walk! (She is quickly back to chugging martinis and wearing designer clothing.)
Back from Christmas break, Ruby is upset to learn her favorite art teacher Mrs. Stevens is fired for being a lesbian. Ruby is pisssed and screams at the superintendent. She doesn’t have long to be angry because it turns out that Ruby is pregnant and sent home to Daphne.
Daphne insists on an abortion. She also removes Ruby from the will and bans her from seeing Beau again. Ruby isn’t going to take this laying down. She leaves the operating table and heads back to New Orleans to her half-brother Paul for help. Ruby moves into her childhood home and sells canned goods.
A hurricane rolls into town and Ruby goes into labor. Paul helps delivers a letter from Giselle and then delivers Ruby’s baby. (Well not really, he is just kind of there because he gets hit with a tree branch.) Ruby gives birth in the storm to her and Beau’s baby girl. Ruby names her Pearl. Paul asks Ruby to consider marrying him and promises no one will have to know they are related. Ruby says she will think about. Then she finds the letter from Giselle and learns that Beau is living in France dating a French girl.
To be continued….
Minority Report: Abby, nurse,
Delightful second installment! (The new hunks didn’t hurt!)
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