Friday 23 February 2018

Movie review: Heaven is for Real (PG)


Greg Kinnear and Kelly Reilly in Heaven is for Real
Greg Kinnear and Kelly Reilly in Heaven is for Real

George Byrne

Drama. Starring Greg Kinnear, Kelly Reilly, Conor Corum, Margo Martindale, Thomas Haden Church, Lane Styles. Directed by Randall Wallace.

Yet another film this week which is "based on true events", 'Heaven is for Real' is essentially a glorified made-for-TV movie that tells the story of how four-year-old Colton Burpo (Conor Corum) suffered a ruptured appendix and, during the course of the operation to save his life, claimed he went to heaven, saw angels, sat on Jesus' lap and even saw the Son of God riding a horse.

Now, the cynical among you may think that a bright, imaginative boy who happened to be the son of a Wesleyan preacher (Greg Kinnear) who's in the weeds, financially speaking, could well provide the impetus to bring people to a faltering church in Nebraska and ultimately provide the material for a best-selling book - and you'd be right to be sceptical.

However, that still doesn't excuse this nauseatingly pious excuse for a film.  Kinnear and Kelly Reilly do their best as Colton's parents and there's decent support from Margo Martindale and Thomas Haden Church.

But while the film makes decent use of the plains of Nebraska to give us a portrait of smalltown Red States America, there's a hectoring, insincere feel to this project that renders it practically unwatchable.



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