Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Miracles from Heaven

As she did in The 33, director Patricia Riggen introduces Miracles from Heaven's characters by establishing one dominant trait that will define them throughout. Also as in that film, she shoots those characters early on at a beatific backyard barbecue, pushing in for idyllic close-ups of wholesome sights like ribs being basted and kids on rope swings to establish a family in the context of its community—a lively congregation led by the friendly, funny, and wise Pastor Scott (John Carroll Lynch). In short, the film's first few minutes are engineered to make clear that, as Kevin Beam (Martin Henderson) tells his wife, Christy (Jennifer Garner), “It's a good life, Christy Beam!”

Then their daughter, Anna (Kylie Rogers), begins to suffer from intestinal dysfunction that paralyzes part of her colon and Christy kicks into mother-tiger mode, bouncing her daughter from the local hospital in their Texas town to bigger ones in nearby Houston and finally Boston Children's Hospital, where she puts her under the care of Dr. Nurko (Eugenio Derbez), a warmhearted joker and one of the world's leading experts on Anna's condition. The good doctor does what he can, but nothing seems to help until Anna has another medical emergency, which results in what the doctors call spontaneous remission and the Beams call a miracle.

Read the rest in Slant Magazine

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