|Eugenio Derbez and Jennifer Garner (Columbia Pictures)|
MOVIE REVIEWThe problem with T.D. Jake’s new film, “Miracles From Heaven,” is its advertising. Yes, we know that there will be some sad parts and some terror, but overall, it appears to be “cute little story.” I’m here to tell you that “Miracles” is no cute story, but it one of the best faith-based movies ever made. Every parent who watches it will ache alongside Christy Beam (who is being portrayed by Jennifer Garner) and will thank God for their healthy children when they get home. “Miracles” will put you through the ringer in a good way.
The same people who behind “Miracles” also produced the huge hit, “Heaven Is For Real” which in the end was a lot less cutesy than how it appeared in the previews as well, but “Miracles” smacks “Heaven” right in the face. The story starts off friendly enough though.
The Beam’s are getting ready for church. Unlike the families I know, Mrs. Beam has time to organize some flowers and Mr. Beam has time to work out in the yard before they have to go. Then we get invited to the Beam’s church which is one of the few church scenes in a movie that actually looks like an actual church service. Does the praise song sound familiar? That’s because Mac Powell of Third Day is leading the worship team. Sure, it’s stunt casting, but if you blink, you’ll miss him. It actually helps to make the whole scene look real.
We quickly learn that Christy’s veterinarian husband, Kevin (Martin Henderson) has taken their family’s life’s saving to open a large clinic. Of course, just like in real life, that when life takes a turn for the worst. They soon discover that their daughter Anna (Kylie Rogers) gets sick often and never really recovers. Again, the movie trailer would make you suspect that Anna is going to fall out of the tree real soon and the film will debate it if was a miracle of not. But that is not the case. The Beam family go through hell first and we are along for the ride.
However, it doesn’t take long for us to find out that Christy is just as human as the rest of us. She gets discouraged after some good-hearted but thoughtless fellow church-goers’ comments. She gets mad at Kevin and both are racked with guilt as their daughter writhes in pain and we are there crying along with them. We know that Anna will get better, but it takes longer than we thought.
Despite the heavy theme, “Miracles From Heaven” does have some light moments. Queen Latifah has a small role that lifts ups Anna’s spirits and our’s too. Talk about the kindness of strangers. Later, Eugenio Derbez plays Dr. Nurko who is apparently the best pediatrician who has ever lived and helps to lighten many dark moods.
The best thing about “Miracles From Heaven” is that all of the characters are real. Not everyone in the church congregation are kind, the children are not always angelic, and Mr. and Mrs. Beam actually argue with each other. The film leaves no stone unturned either. Questions are raised on why would God allow a little girl to suffer such pain and then after God heals her, why are other children are still suffering? Accusations are also suggested that perhaps little Anna wasn’t even sick to begin with.
There is one scene near the end of the film where the film gets a little shaky and will probably be one where either you love it or hate it, (I personally didn’t care for it) but it recovers quickly and gets back on track. I’d tell you which one it is, but it would take too much away, but you’ll see what I mean. However, I will say that the photography is fantastic.
The cast of “Miracles From Heaven” is amazing and some will be surprised to see it in a faith-based film. Jennifer Garner completely throws herself in the role as Christy but Kylie Rogers (who played that creepy girl in last summer’s “The Whispers” TV show) is a stand out as well.
I must give a word of caution though. This is not a film for the whole family, at least not for younger members. Some scenes are fairly graphic and scenes of Anna rolling in pain will be disturbing for young ones to see as well.