Excellent, Without a doubt!!
Pretty good movie overall. First half was nothing special but it got better as it went along.
The film creates a perfect balance between action and depth of basic needs, in the midst of an infertile atmosphere.
I liked this little film. A good and decent little film. The story, the script, the directing , the acting and the cinematography. A well packaged little project. I liked the idea that just when you thought that William Macey's character was evil, you end up realizing that he is not. Also, I liked the idea that believing and disbelieving in anything could change in any minute when your perception changes .
Don't know what I expected, but this wasn't it. I thought perhaps the movie would end up being a cheesy B rated comedy, but the plot was searching for depth it never found. The main character is troubled, but the peace that she looks for is not going to help her. I would think any non-Christian, atheist, or agnostic could comfortably watch this. I do not think, however, that after seeing the desperate problems the characters are facing, a person could leave satisfied with the pretense of well-being that is portrayed in the end. As she wrestles through her life problems, the main character never comes to an understanding of who Jesus really is or what can truly change her life to one of peace and joy. She is bombarded by religious looking people, who for the most part show no understanding of God. She looks for truth, and is confronted with platitudes. She looks for love and is given a parcel of unfulfilled desires. She wants freedom, but she doesn't realize that the power of believing is only as great as the power believed in.(http://christiansareus.com/2015/02/11/guilty-yet-free/) If we believe in our own fallible selves who are clearly mortal, our own faith is fallible and mortal to. So again, sadly disappointed with this theme and plot.
Anyone who reads my reviews knows that I always beg for more character development and back stories. I loved this movie, but I needed to know a bit more about the supporting characters.William Macy plays a wonderfully animated boss of a Dial-A-Prayer business. But we never hear how he got into the field or why. Also, no one ever identifies what church the girl's family, the call center, and the town identify with. Is it Catholic? Interestingly, there is practically no mention of Jesus, except when the funny boss says that he parted the Red Sea.Therefore, I think a non-Christian could feel comfortable watching this without feeling bombarded by J.C.The film is not really about religion. It is about second chances and turning one's life around. There is good usage of the Fall and Winter Midwest landscape. One could see it as either bleak, or starkly beautiful, depending on attitude. There are some clever references to that. The final scene shows a couple quietly beholding the glory of a blank snowy setting.Do prayers make a difference? Our protagonist keeps asking this question. Of course they do, but the film focuses only on the aspect of making people feel better. It doesn't mention any metaphysical effect on the world at large, or the idea of praying for world peace and messianic redemption. People are only praying for themselves and their family to deal with domestic and health issues.Casting is so essential to a character-driven film. This one aced the test. I don't know who Brittany Snow is, but her no-makeup sadness came through the screen with genuine sincerity. Macy phoned it in, no pun intended, but in his case, he phones it in beautifully. Glen Headly, the mom, fit the profile to perfection. No one here is great looking or flashy. They are ordinary people in a working class Midwestern town trying to make it through life the best way they can.What I loved the most was the way they structured dialogue scenes. The characters would say just the right amount of words to each other, without overdoing it or milking the scenes for manipulative effect. I could have done without the few dream sequences and the schmaltzy music toward the end, but the photography was first rate.
This movie came very close to being an excellent offering. It has effective character development, good use of setting/scenes, a few well-thought out plot twists, and mostly effective dialogue. It was obviously not a glitzy production done on a huge budget, but that just adds to the charm of the film. So why not a higher rating? Too Cora-centric.Of course, she is the main character, so it's no surprise that she's in the middle of just about everything that happens in the movie. But that's not the problem. Everything is portrayed from Cora's viewpoint. The other workers at the Dial-A-Prayer center where she must perform community service after vandalizing a church are not really shown as people, but as the caricatures Cora sees. The only one that seems to approach actual personhood is the woman in the next cubical who soon begins to commiserate with Cora's discomfort over the center's purpose and structure, let's her go for a secret smoke, and uses profanity.Cora's father is shown as distant and her mother initially as repulsive(because she is living in denial about the marriage while tossing out platitudes whenever necessary to make it seem like everything is just fine) then as a pitiable woman. Even Chase (who tracks Cora down after speaking with her on the Dial-A-Prayer service) is portrayed at first as a creepy stalker-type, next as an insensitive creep, and finally as the guy that she's gonna be alright with because she believes in herself and him and somehow, someway, they're going to make it work! Sadly, many people will find this message inspiring without recognizing it's insidious nature. Truth is, we CAN NEVER learn enough, know enough, become skilled enough, or whatever to make our lives anything but a shambles. It's only when we get the focus off ourselves and onto the One who IS wise enough, powerful enough and compassionate enough that there exists any hope for any of us. So while Cora became a bit less self-absorbed toward the end of the movie, the hope that it tries to imply of a better tomorrow due to the burgeoning relationship with Chase is a cruel mirage. It's just another result of living a me-centric life