By Michael Garcia (Miami, FL, USA)
The previews of Miracles from Heaven do not leave you wanting more than you already have seen. It’s almost the movie’s downfall since you know everything that is going to happen, even if you haven’t read the book. That being said, it’s not the worse movie of all time, and in fact if you are into biblical stories and movies that stress miracles, then you will delightfully enjoy this movie.
The focus is on the sick child (Anna, played by Kylie Rogers) who is terminally ill with some sort of stomach disease. The movie doesn’t build up a lot of affection for the character, as it jumps very quickly into her illness. As I watched her get sick, I didn’t get an overly sad feeling because I had no idea who this child was or what makes her so special. There was no bond between the character and the viewer. While Anna is an adorable little girl, who she is or what makes her different from any other of the children isn’t portrayed. I wish there was a story that allowed us to fall in love with her character. I have to remind myself that this is a true story based on actual events. Kylie’s acting was great, and highly believable. Nothing about the direction of the movie can take that away. Still, I feel like the lack of emotional connection takes away from the potential relationship the viewer can have with the star of the movie.
What seemed like a sub plot, but was more portrayed as a co-plot, was Christy’s (Jennifer Garner) faith being tested. This idea of faith being challenged was shown throughout the entire movie, and I believe Garner did a decent job of capturing the emotions of a troubled believer, and a great job as a concerned mother. Her relationship with Kevin (Martin Henderson) is a beautiful thing and I believe the two of them can pull off some great romantic love story in a different setting, but this particular film had them paired in a way that left me wanting to see a bit more. Maybe Garner’s star power had something to do with the film’s editing or direction, but she was just as much a focus as the little girl. Going through an internal struggle of believing and having faith can do so much more than what she showed us, and I know that she could’ve done better. Her private conversations with God were ‘eh’.
The supporting actors did a good job. Latifah, although played a small role, was funny and likable. Overall the movie had its ups and downs like anything else. Patricia Riggen did a great job handling the climax and building a tear jerking moment for the audience. I would definitely recommend seeing this to all people, but I wouldn’t recommend paying full price for your ticket to go see it. Make it a matinee, and add a senior citizen or student discount to it. Avoid the previews because if you see them, well, you’ve seen it all.
Christy Beam: When Anna got sick I just couldn’t understand it. Why was this loving little girl going through this?
Dr. Todd Blythe: Everything’s fine.
Christy Beam: Everything is not fine. There’s something wrong with our little girl.
Dr. Todd Blythe: Mrs. Beam, you need to calm down.
Christy Beam: I’m not leaving this hospital until I know what’s wrong with my daughter!