Tomas (John Bell) is a very unhappy young boy, rejected by his peers at the orphanage for his gentle manner and off-putting stammer. Then Marie (Connie Nielsen), raised in an orphanage herself, decides to adopt him. She lives on an island cottage surrounded by the wild sea with Alec (Aidan Quinn), a fisherman. He is not impressed with Tomas's silence and his weakness. The boy immediately senses that he won't have the connection with "Himself" that he has with Marie. She becomes the light of his life with her playfulness (they stomp together in puddles during a heavy rain), her delight in bright colors, and her love for the seals that come when they are called. It doesn't take very long before he is calling her Mom, much to their mutual pleasure.

Marie's love for Tomas helps liberate him from his silence and fearful approach to life. Gradually, he becomes accustomed to his chores and joins two neighbor kids as they explore a cave filled with sleeping bats and ponder an ancient legendary stone locals call a king. Tomas really comes into his own feeding a stranded pup seal. But when Marie gets sick and is hospitalized, this vulnerable young boy must again encounter loss and abandonment. He fears that Alec will not sign the papers that will finalize his adoption.

Director Vic Sarin has adapted this fine family film from Lillian Beckwith's novel which was shot on Corrie Island. Connie Nielsen is the heart and soul of this fetching drama as a mother with stunning beauty, passion, creativity, mystical insights, and an ability to help Tomas emerge from his isolation. The young boy's empathy with animals is another key to his social blooming. A Shine of Rainbows will brighten up your day with its satisfying finale.

The DVD includes a featuretee "So Many Colours: The Making of A Shine of Rainbows."