IS FOR REAL
SYNOPSIS: The film stars Academy Award® nominee and Emmy® 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.
REVIEW: “Why does this have to be a myth?” asks Todd Burpo with some amount of conviction. For those of us that are Christians, or at least believe in God, it is our ultimate destination, the ultimate goal, the ultimate prize . . . getting to heaven to live with God in his glory forever. So why when confronted with potential proof we are incredulous and doubtful, skeptics of its reality? That is the conflict that Todd, his wife Sonja, and members of the church that Todd preaches at face. It’s like we preach it but we don’t believe it. Well that’s just not good. I can tell you that Christianity, and most religions or beliefs for that matter, are based heavily on faith. So where’s the faith that heaven truly does exist and that maybe some people have had the experience of being there and have come back to tell about it? I mean, why not? Why does it have to be brushed off as some manmade or contrived psychological episode so as to give it a scientific explanation? What is so wrong about having faith? Why so many questions? Okay, I’ll get off the soapbox (Priscilla Style) and get on with the review. The film is moving, inspiring, heart-warming, cute, and enlightening. And did I mention it’s a tear-jerker.
First of all, allow me to mention that we were very pleased to see a really good turnout for the screening. Next, it was nice to see Nebraska life, life in the heartland of this country. Not only is Todd the local preacher, he is a garage door repairman extraordinaire, a volunteer fireman and a high school coach. As the situation unfolds, his life is turned upside down. Greg Kinnear did an excellent job portraying this role. But I really wouldn’t expect anything less from him. Kelly Reilly was also pretty sharp as Sonja. The real star of the show, however, is adorable little Connor Corum. His innocence and confidence shines through the silver screen and straight into your heart. The performances along with the story are really the biggest, most important aspects of this film. But there are also some decent cinematography and just the right amount of special effects that were not over the top elaborate. Instead they added that extra little touch to give you a more complete picture of the story. It was tasteful and appropriate. Randall Wallace has directed some pretty good work: The Man in the Iron Mask, We Were Soldiers, and Secretariat. This film is not quite as sophisticated as these others in his repertoire, but he still manages to make the film hit the heart of its audience. So the question remains to YOU . . . do YOU believe that heaven is for real?
By Cine Marcos
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