Film Review: Heaven Is For Real

Heaven Is For Real (2014)
starring Greg Kinner, Kelly Reilly, Connor Corum


Watch the trailer for Heaven Is For Real
 
Heaven Is For Real
Based on the #1 New York Times best-selling book of the same name, HEAVEN IS FOR REAL brings to the screen the true story of a small-town father who must find the courage and conviction to share his son's extraordinary, life-changing experience with the world. The film stars Academy Award (R) nominee and Emmy (R) award winning actor Greg Kinnear as Todd Burpo and co-stars Kelly Reilly as Sonja Burpo, the real-life couple whose son Colton (newcomer Connor Corum) claims to have visited Heaven during a near death experience. Colton recounts the details of his amazing journey with childlike innocence and speaks matter-of-factly about things that happened before his birth ... things he couldn't possibly know. Todd and his family are then challenged to examine the meaning from this remarkable event. 
I saw Heaven Is For Real during Easter Week. It was fortunate that I have been in a faith-based kind of film mode more recently and I must say I'm glad there were more than a few that were released in theaters and got my attention. This was one of them (Noah and Son of God were the other two in my last film reviews. See the last 2 film review posts). I love watching inspiring and uplifting films that moved and touched me personally. There aren't a lot of films like this one in a while that I've seen in theaters that made me smile, laugh, cry, and moved me all at the same time as this film did.

One of the few main reasons I went to see this movie was Kelly Reilly. I'm a fan of hers and her versatile acting since I first saw her in Pride & Prejudice (2005) film as Caroline Bingley (even though her character in that film was one of my less favorite, but she was great in the role and had memorable one-liners that I was quite impressed by her acting) and saw her in other films she was in like The Spanish Apartment trilogy, Sherlock Holmes 1 & 2  films (with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law), and Eden Lake (with Michael Fassbender) to name a few. She was always good whether she's playing a good girl or bad girl kind of characters. Though she was often in small or supporting roles, but most of them were memorable and often she stole the spotlight in the films she appeared in, much more so than her co-stars with leading roles. I'm very glad she was cast in this movie as It was great to see her in a good supporting female lead role and she did not disappoint. Another reason was, it was not only a faith-based film, but it was also based on a true story that got me curious and more interested in seeing this film. And also, seeing the wonderful first trailer, got me even more interested and excited to seeing it.

I've never read the best-selling book of the same name that this film was based on, but I was more interested in seeing the adapted film version and I'm glad I did. I loved and enjoyed watching this movie. The casting of this movie was great especially the main Burpo Family. Greg Kinnear was very good as Todd Burpo, the father of the adorable little boy named Colton as played by the cute and adorable Connor Corum, and Kelly Reilly was wonderful as Sonja Burpo, a loving wife of Todd and mother of Connor and his sister Cassie. Great acting by them all. Loved them as the Burpo family. They were believable as a Christian loving family (who were not perfect and has problems just like every other family), which was wonderfully portrayed in this film. The story was very well-written and did a great job of connecting to the audience without being preachy about it, but just inspiring and moving them as they watched. Whether or not I believe if Heaven is for real, it was just touching and inspiring to see the Burpo family going through hard times with health scare problems (mainly Todd and with little Colton's sudden and unexpected illness that got him claiming he visited heaven and saw Jesus...the little boy is just too adorable and cute for words. I loved it when he said about heaven, "it's beautiful.") and struggled with a stack of medical bills to pay, yet the family persevered to keep their family together and Christian faith alive. The music was very good too. Loved the scene in the car with the Burpo family singing "We Will Rock You" by Queen. Colton loved that song so much, it was cute and funny when he even mentioned it when he claimed to have seen Jesus in heaven and wanted to sing it with him, lol...

Overall, Heaven Is For Real was a great, inspiring, and feel-good movie for the entire family to see. As aforementioned, I loved and enjoyed watching it. Great casting (especially the adorable and very cute newcomer Connor Corum as Colton was just beautiful to see and he did a wonderful job playing his character, considering it was his first feature film debut...so natural and believable already in his first film role), wonderful story, and inspiring music. Great direction too by director, Randall Wallace (just found out he directed Secretariat with Diane Lane, which I loved and enjoyed watching and The Man In The Iron Mask with Leo DiCaprio), who also wrote the screenplay of this film (then again, he wrote the amazing screenplay to the Oscar winning and classic Mel Gibson film Braveheart). This was just a beautiful, must-see, and worth watching family film for everyone, young and old to see. I highly recommend you see it, if you haven't already. Go see it!

My Heaven Is For Real film rating:  (9.5/10A)

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