Genre: drama, family
Director: Patricia Riggen
Screenplay: Randy Brow
Story: Christy Beam
Producers: Joe Roth, T.D. Jakes, DeVon Franklin
Cast: Jennifer Garner, Kylie Rogers, Martin Henderson, John Carroll Lynch, Eugenio Derbez, Queen Latifah
Mark Twain once said, “truth is stranger than fiction, because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; truth isn’t.”
The story of the Beam family is incredible and some might question how this series of events could actually happen. The beautiful thing is, this movie is based on a true story and, though it would be rare for an author to imagine such a perfectly constructed sequence of events, this story did actually happen – this story is real.
When Christy (Jennifer Garner) and Kevin Beam (Martin Henderson) put their girls to bed after a church picnic held on their ranch, they have no idea that the sickness that begins that night for their little girl, Anna (Kylie Rogers), is the beginning of the greatest test of their lives.
With countless visits to hospitals, and doctors repeatedly telling them the tests are clear or that what Anna has is a minor complication such as food allergies or acid reflux, Christy is frustrated and knows better. There is something terribly wrong with Anna, and Christy will fight until she has an answer.
Their fears are confirmed and the diagnosis shows that Anna has a rare abdominal disease called Gastroparesis for which there is no cure. Anna cannot digest food due to the paralysis of her intestines and this will eventually claim her life.
Desperate for solutions, Christy tries everything until she flies Anna and herself to a specialist in Boston without an appointment, determined to try whatever she can to save her daughter’s life.
It is here where they meet a waitress named Angela (Queen Latifa) who befriends and becomes a great support to them while they are on their regular visits away from home. Angela, with her humour and kindness, is a miracle just when they need it.
Along with Angela, other miracles come their way in the form of friends, strangers and of course, the miraculous healing of their little girl which floors the doctors and the community, attracting mass media attention.
This movie is heart-wrenching and the family’s journey through fear, determination, struggles and the exasperation of what they had to face, is so accurately portrayed by an excellent choice of cast. Jennifer Garner wears her heart on her sleeve and as a mother, I could not help but cry often throughout this film.
Kylie Rogers is so natural in her role as Anna which I find outstanding for a child so young. Her expressions in the scene where she has had enough of the pain and is ready to give up, are so convincing it will tear at your heart.
Kevin Beam plays the part of a father whose heart is torn in two but is rock solid in his strength and support of his family.
There are so many noteworthy elements to this movie which I don’t have enough room to list. You will just have to go and see it for yourself and I completely recommend that you do. My husband and I took our pre-teen children and they loved it. My husband says it is one of the best movies he has seen in a long time, a ‘must see’ regardless of beliefs or age.
Miracles From Heaven is a beautiful story of people stepping up and filling needs, of being aware of the miracles that happen all around them as they journey through heartache, pain and hope.
It gives a good insight and empathy into what many families face on a daily basis. It shows that miracles happen all the time whether it be through a tired new mum who is willing to drop everything to help out a friend, a stranger who sees a need and fills it, or a person in a position to make somebody else’s situation a bit easier and does it.
Perhaps we can all be a miracle in someone’s life if we look for the opportunities.
I rate this movie a 5/5. It is another step up and I totally recommend it.
IN CINEMAS NOW
Sony Pictures Releasing partnering with Heritage Films
(c) Rebecca Moore 2016
Originally published for Christian Today Australia, 19th March 2016