“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Albert Einstein
I was commenting to Andy of Sengkangbabies.com after the movie that I’m not sure what’s worse these days – the movies, the TV shows or the daily news. They are filled predominantly with reports of wars, calamities and uncertainties of which movies are not any different. In fact, the Superheroes have even turned to fighting each other instead of fighting villains.
Then there’s this movie – a breath of fresh air.
Watch the Movie Trailer here:
Whats the storyline?
Hollywood A-lister actress, Jennifer Gardner heads the cast about a true story of how young Annabel ‘Anna’ Beam who was diagnosed with an incurable gastrointestinal disease which prevents her body from digesting food, was miraculously and completely cured after falling 3 stories head-first into the hollow of an old tree. During the long ordeal where attempts were made to extricate her, she recounted how she ‘visited’ heaven and had a conversation with God.
The story centers around the real financial struggles of Anna’s parents who had just mortgaged their home for the father’s new veterinary practice. Their ordeal with Anna’s illness was exacerbated by self-righteous church members who suggest to the couple to examine their lives for sins which may have brought-on a ‘curse’ of sorts resulting in Anna’s ailment. But what really touched us was that this isn’t some story conjured up inside a script-writer’s mind. Every single event narrated in the movie is based on the incredible real-life story of Anna Beam.
The real Anna Beam story via Fox news:
The real Anna Beam and her family
How’s the show?
The acting in the movie is good. Garner’s portrayal of the relentless mother trying to cope with the emotional strains and upholding her faith was convincing and moving. The cast of children, particularly Kylie Rogers portrayed Anna with great sensitivity. Personally I saw glimpses of child actors like Dakota Fanning and Wynona Ryder in her – definitely potential for greater future roles. The supporting cast (Queen Latifah as ‘Angela’ and Eugenio Derbez as ‘Doc. Neko’) were superb too. Through their friendship, they brought warmth and restored hope to the despairing mother and daughter pair who were seeking treatment on their own in Boston.
The pace of the movie was just right. I had expected long conversations but no. Talking was kept minimal and the plot was largely carried by the cast’s convincing acting. The movie was not inundated with Christian songs or preaching. It is well-balanced and captivating.
Why should you watch this movie?
The movie revisits the struggles we all go through from time to time, whether is it with family crisis or with faith. Though it centers around a Christian family’s struggle with a rare, incurable illness, its central theme is universal – faith, hope and love. A movie which celebrates these universal themes is very much welcomed in this day and age of uncertainties and despair.
Best of all, it’s based on a real life event. From there, we can see that how everyone of us, if we would be led by our conscience and heart, can indeed be part of the miracle for someone in need. All too often we hide behind the veil of busy-ness, of bureaucracy, of self.
Is it suitable for children?
The movie has a PG13 rating. We did not bring our 8 year-old as we were unsure if she could process the intense feelings of seeing 10 year-old Anna facing the threat of death. On hindsight, she might but certain emotional scenes may evoke questions from her which she may not have the maturity to reconcile. This movie would be suitable for kids 12 and older.
On a personal note:
The plot and theme resonated deeply with us as survivors of multiple child-losses. We struggled with the times when God seemed silent, save for the supposedly well-meaning remarks from pious, religious folks who did more harm than good. Like the movie, we had to persevere with nothing but our faith. It was during this long lonely journey that we experienced miracles – acts of mercy and kindness showered on us by ‘angels’ in our lives – kind family, friends, bosses and colleagues, even strangers who stood by us and comforted us in our grief. It took us 9 years before our desires to be parents were granted. Like the Beams, we live each day, reminding ourselves not to take anything for granted. We cherish each moment we have with our loved ones for everyday is indeed Life’s Tiny Miracles.
Disclaimer: We were invited to a preview of the movie. No monetary compensation was received. All photos are credited to Columbia Pictures and all opinions are ours.