Miracles From Heaven (2016, directed by Patricia Riggen)
[No. 20 of 52 in #52FilmsByWomen]
The movie’s promotional material stating that this is a `story of a girl miraculously cured after surviving an accident’, add this to the title it’s somewhat clear that it is very clearly a highly faith-centric Christian film. Which indeed it is. [Spoilers ahead.]
One of the earliest scenes of the movie is a pastor preaching to his congregation about the values of faith, which eventually turned out to be the central theme of the movie. So there is nothing subtle about this being a Christian movie. It is literally preachy, with a pastor actually preaching the story’s thesis statement right in the opening scene.
Putting its theme, its synopsis blurb, the opening scene of the movie, plus the fact that this is a `Christian movie’ into place, we can basically predict almost everything that’s about to happen in the movie: The protagonist’ faith is about to get tested. And a miracle will occur. (It’s outright stated in the title!) After which the protagonist presumably will regain her faith. Even the imdb synopsis basically spoils the nature of the miracle.
This movie is indeed intended for a Christian audience, so as a non-Christian it’s not surprising that I didn’t really enjoy it as much. Nevertheless non-Christians may still sympathise with Jennifer Garner’s character, who plays Christy Beam, the mother struggling to take care of her daughter that’s struggling with intestinal pseudoobstruction. If nothing else, this movie serve Christians and non-Christians equally well by raising awareness of the disease.
Jennifer Garner was great a mother desperately trying to keep her child alive. Also amazing was 12-year-old Kylie Rogers playing Anna who struggles with the disease. It’s indeed quite rare to find a child actor who delivers a great and believable performance as a child facing death at such a young age.