Miracles from Heaven – 3/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

miracles from heavenMiracles from Heaven – 3/5 – Inspiration; it is a word that breathes purpose and meaning to many.  No matter where it comes from, it is something that stirs motivation in some way.  There are many things that a film can be; but it can also provoke a thought of deeper conviction.  When mixing the ideas of faith, family and the complete unknown; you can have an unforgettable experience.  Miracles from Heaven is a film that’s based around the idea of inspiration.  With a lot that makes the film stand out, it still stumbles because of execution.  Even so, Miracles from Heaven has enough here where you feel the reason to believe.

Premise:  A young girl beings to suffer from an incurable disorder.  Through faith, love and family, this little girl will become witness to what it means to believe in miracles.

You have many big name actors/actresses with some unknowns.  If you want to a full list you can refer to the IMDB page.  Overall, the acting (across the board) is just at an average level.  From the Beam family, the pastor, the doctor’s and everyone else that fills up the screen; there isn’t any strength found in the dialogue, interactions or even the expositions that should stand out as memorable.  The film puts the focuses on the mother Christy Beam (Jennifer Garner) and her daughter Anna Beam (Kylie Rogers).  With these two standing as the ‘main’ characters, they have a common bond that most could be familiar with.  For the grounded appeal of the ‘mother/daughter’ relationship, there isn’t much else that be considered relative.  The heart of these characters doesn’t gravitate beyond the cliché nature of the ‘mother/daughter’ relationship.  There are some emotional moments between the two, but there are no added layers beyond the commonality of their beliefs or the ‘troubled’ disease the daughter is facing.   To bring something emotional but only compound on the basic archetypes only adds predictability to the melodrama.  Even with the nature being mundane, you still feel the sense of their purpose, knowing where their beliefs lie and how each need each other to survive this journey.  For the rest of the characters (as mentioned), there isn’t anything aside from the fact they are one-dimensional and add ‘point of emphasis’ checkmarks for the main characters.

The direction follows the basic outline of a script that infuses ‘situational’ methods.  This is a method where there is an intent to stamp a story (true or fiction) with an idea or belief that inevitably effects the character(s) at particular points in life.  That idea or belief brings together the narrative, plot points and introduction and pushes it in linear fashion.  Within that linearity, there is a focus on themes that usually involve something related to politics, heritage, diseases or religious affiliation.   That is the case for this film.  Here, we are introduced to the Beam Family.  They are a Christian household who come to find out (plot point) that one of their daughters has an incurable disease.   From this basic introduction, the film repeats the use of situations and moves forward through a ‘scene’ to ‘scene’ connection.  There’s no girth to developing any of the themes, characters or relationships.  The film is fragmented because there is no sense on building up the reasoning for the main plot.  What happens is that other ‘random’ situations from the family’s hardships suction off the screen time, taking away focus, purpose and emotional worth from Christy and Anna Beam.  The ‘side stories’ convolute the direction; causing confusion about the film’s intent of being a true story that’s focused on faith and personal struggle.   Through the first two acts (as with the acting), you never get a complete grip of the situation.  This basic outline causes the ‘true story’ elements that provide a humanistic quality of fragility to get lost in unwanted subplots.  That constant disjointing breaks an experience that is subverting.  There are irregularities that become obvious and ‘motivational’ moments that come across as tacky and frictional.  As the main plot is trying to bring some emotional attachment, there is no real heart when it comes to scenes of faith, love, struggle and sacrifice (when there should be some real emotive bravado).  The film does break away from the ‘point A to B’ like structure eventually and starts to take a turn from the subplots in the third act.  Once we arrive to this act, it brings some focus to the faith theme that was seen throughout, allowing for moments to endure with true quality.  Once the direction brings the ‘power’ of the film back into focus, there is a momentary exposition that stakes it claims to the notion of inspiration.  As everything comes full circle, the epilogue brings closure to the Beam family; adding a montage of real quality to everything that should have been better in the story.  Even so, this helps bring some emotional value to a true story.

The visuals are basic.  There is nothing here that stands out beyond the aesthetic surroundings.  With a focus on the Beam family, you get a look at their home; a given ‘grounded’ reality of the situation.  These visuals don’t add anything to the complexion of the story.  The score is pretty much non-existent, but you do hear some music throughout.

Miracles from Heaven is a film that had a lot of moments to be great, but with lackluster acting and unwanted subplots; it becomes an average experience.  Even with some of the low points, there is enough within the main two characters to create something this is worth a thought for inspiration.  If you’re a fan of inspirational films or the actors/actress involved, I say check it out at matinee.

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