Kim Delaney is back at work on “Army Wives,” no doubt glad to be putting distance between herself and the unfortunate incident last month when she was escorted off stage — as she struggled through a rambling, nonsensical attempt at a speech honoring former Defense Secretary Robert Gates at the Liberty Medal Award presentation.
She’s yet to make a public statement as to what went wrong that night, leaving it to the media to point out her past problems with alcohol. It’s a shame.
The actress turns in a memorable performance in the Hallmark Movie Channel film, “Finding a Family,” premiering tomorrow (10/15), in which she plays a woman with severe bipolar disorder following a brain injury. She looks stunningly different. In scenes in which the character is enraged, she is scary. In scenes in which she’s broken down, she looks fragile and lost. Now, especially in light of the September incident, the movie has an extra, can’t-turn-away element. It almost echoes certain moments from Delaney’s own story, including how she lost custody of her son Jack in 2005 because of her drinking.
Recent years have been much happier, with Delaney going through a second alcohol rehab stint in 2006, and making a personal and professional comeback including her success with Lifetime’s “Army Wives,” her apparently close relationship with Jack and her obvious pride in his accomplishments as a student at the University of Pennsylvania. She’s been talking about producing projects back in her home town of Philadelphia. Perhaps she will.
“Finding a Family” tells the remarkable story of Alex Chivescu (Jared Abrahamson), who somehow managed to become an honors student despite his volatile home life. He went to court to terminate his mother’s parental rights and have himself declared a ward of the state, and then found a family willing to take him in, all to keep his dream of going to Harvard alive. It’s a worthy addition to the inspirational movie genre, with Delaney’s portrayal just riveting.
Chivescu says he hopes people will get the takeaway of “overcoming adversity on your own terms.”