Saturday, December 10, 2016
Miracles from Heaven (2016)
IMDb plot summary: A young girl suffering from a rare digestive disorder finds herself miraculously cured after surviving a terrible accident.
Directed by Patricia Riggen. Starring Jennifer Garner, Kylie Rogers, Martin Henderson, and Brighton Sharbino.
(Spoilers, I guess. Though I'd never recommend anyone see this and it DOES tell you right in the title that there's going to be a miracle, so I'm not sure how spoilery I'm actually being...)
Okay. So. For anyone who's not aware of this about me, I am a Christian, I do believe in miracles, and I hate nearly every Christian movie I see. Too often in an effort to cram in accurate theology, the story takes a backseat and it basically just becomes propaganda, which has its purposes but very seldom makes for enjoyable art. Also, the more I see Jennifer Garner in, the more I'm convinced the woman just can't act. So this was always going to be a tough sell.
Yeah, this movie didn't work for me on any level. You know your movie's off to a bad start when the first five minutes alone are so bland I spend my time wondering which daughter is going to almost die and need a miracle. The story feels rushed, there's next to no character development, the dialogue is awkward and seldom age-appropriate when the kids speak, and that ending speech. In fact, that ending speech deserves a paragraph of its own.
OH MY GOSH THAT ENDING SPEECH. Garner's kid gets an actual miraculous healing, and what she chooses to say to her congregation and the TV people is a series of vague platitudes about how, "Uh... kindness is a miracle too?" NOT LIKE YOU JUST HAD, IT'S NOT. It's like somebody winning the lottery and subsequently talking about how basically everybody is rich because they have friends. It's a complete undoing of the movie's message (which is presumably "God does miracles") and then leads to an even more awkward here, which, if I may, I shall summarize in script form.
Jennifer Garner: God healed our daughter. Also, kindness is a miracle. Also, forgiveness is a miracle.
Random Woman: Well, maybe your daughter wasn't that sick. We are skeptical! Convince us!
Random Dude: Soooo none of you know who I am or have any reason to be convinced by me, but their daughter was sick! I know this because I saw her in the hospital and, while I'm not a doctor in any way, shape or form, she sure looked sick to me! But the biggest miracle of all was that she was kind to my sick daughter!
All the Congregation, Apparently: We believe now!
Guys. It's so messy. I should've tweet snarked this because I kept having to say snarky things out loud to the dog instead. The *one* thing I did appreciate was the tiny tiny scene where the daughter understandably lapses into some serious depression and tells her mom she just wants to die so the pain will stop. I was so glad that for one scene in the movie, the daughter wasn't some brave, patient, all-knowing sage, but just a regular 9-year-old girl who feels miserable and wants it to be done. The movie doesn't go anywhere with it, but that scene is nice.
How it entered my Flickchart:
Miracles from Heaven < Oblivion
Miracles from Heaven < Top Gun
Miracles from Heaven < The Wonderful World of Autotainment
Miracles from Heaven > They Were Expendable
Miracles from Heaven > Thr3e
Miracles from Heaven < The Little Drummer Boy
Miracles from Heaven < Made of Honor
Miracles from Heaven < Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
Miracles from Heaven < Capote
Miracles from Heaven > Holy Motors
Miracles from Heaven < National Velvet
Final spot: #2302 out of 2544.