Due to my reluctance of watching trailers prior to watching the movie, I had no idea what I was in for when I chose the following films. Sometimes I’ll read a short synopsis, but I decided not to this time. It ended up being a bittersweet experience.
Miracles from Heaven (2016)
Directed by Patricia Riggen
If I had known this film’s central theme revolved around religion, I probably wouldn’t have watched it (although I don’t know what I was expecting with a title like that). Religious movies are usually a bit too preachy for my liking, yet my naivety worked out in this instance because it was a great experience. Jennifer Garner, who plays Christy Beam, had an emotionally taxing role, and her performance was incredibly genuine. She brought a tenderness and determination that had the entire theatre crying at every turn. She was by far the best performance in the film. While I have some issues with a few choices made in directing and cinematography, the overall message was endearing enough that I almost didn’t care. Ultimately, the message conveyed was about appreciating and recognizing the little miracles we all have in our lives. Whether you’re religious, agnostic, or a flat out non-believer, you can interpret this in various ways that are meaningful to you. Personally, I feel it is a reflection of all the kindness and generosity in the world.
The Reader (2008)
Directed by Stephen Daldry
I am one of those cold-hearted people who thinks there are far too many Holocaust movies [Editor’s Note: Opinions belong to the writer and are not reflective of the site as a whole]. There are some that work very well; this isn’t one of them. While the film focuses more on the after effects of the Holocaust, there was a such a lack of emotion that I almost stopped watching it. Despite a great cast it was incredibly boring because there was nothing to care about. That, in combination with the little plot holes that question the entire foundation of the film, made for a really unpleasant watch. Perhaps saying eeny, meeny, miny, moe and choosing a movie wasn’t the best strategy.