Miracles from Heaven
Why do people suffer if there’s a God? is just one of the theological questions posed by this Christian-themed drama. Jennifer Garner gives an emotionally wrought performance as Christie Beam, the mother of Annabel (Kylie Rogers) who is afflicted with an intestinal motility disorder. Based on real life events, director Patricia Riggen takes the audience on a tear-jerker ride, despite the hint of optimism suggested in the movie’s title.
The Beam family live a wholesome all-American life in Texas; they go to church, attend BBQs and even listen to Christian rock music. All is perfect until their ten-year-old middle daughter is struck down by a mysterious, life-threatening gastro-based illness. This, in turn, leads to Christie questioning her faith – “Are you there?” and “Can you even hear me?” are amongst the questions she asks God. Hoping to find a cure for Annabel, Christie takes her to see Dr Samuel Nurko (Eugenio Derbez), a likeable specialist doctor based in Boston. It’s here that Queen Latifah gives the viewer some much-needed light relief as a friendly waitress who befriends mother and daughter, in a role where she is completely underused.
Garner gives an exceptional turn as a strong, determined mother who is trying to make sense of how cruel life can be. The family has to cope with not only the sadness endured by such an illness, but also the financial difficulties caused by Annabel’s condition. Subtlety is not one of the movie’s strong points and, at times, things can feel a little heavy-handed with the religious doctrine that is presented throughout. Towards the final act, the story really shakes things up with what can only be described as a freak event. It’s from this that we’re asked to consider What are miracles?
Riggen and screenwriter Randy Brown ask some thought-provoking questions, but are unable to really provide any answers. It’s a fascinating story that will certainly please a faith-based audience. At the very least, even the most cynical cinema-goer would find it hard not to be moved by this inspiring movie.
Miracles from Heaven is released in selected cinemas on 10th June 2016.
Watch the trailer for Miracles from Heaven here: