In the movie Miracles From Heaven, Jennifer Garner’s character repeats Albert Einstein’s famous quote; “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Perhaps no movie had embodied this quote and the concept of miracles more than this one.
Anna Beam (Kylie Rogers) lives with a rare, incurable disorder that leaves her unable to digest food. Despite the dire diagnosis, devoted mom Christy (Jennifer Garner) relentlessly searches for a way to save her beloved daughter. Everything changes in an instant when Anna tells an amazing story of a visit to heaven after surviving a headlong tumble into a tree. Her family and doctors become even more baffled when the young girl begins to show signs of recovering from her fatal condition.
The theme of the movie is that miracles are given by God under rare circumstances to show us He’s there. We can’t count on them, but they are pointers that show us there’s more to the ultimate reality than what we can see. I really love how this movie was put together.
I think Jennifer Garner, who had an advantage in playing the role because she’s been a mother under tough circumstances herself (including her fairly recent separation from husband Ben Affleck), gives as excellent a performance as Sandra Bullock did in The Blind Side. It’s rare to have such powerful leading women roles in faith-based movies. Jennifer Garner says making this movie has helped her own faith journey and led her back to church after her kids requested she take them.
The whole story is basically told in the trailer, but there is more to it than a tree accident causing Christy Beam’s little girl to be healed from her intestinal disease. There are a lot of relatable elements in the movie such as being told by other churchgoers that God must be punishing you for something you did wrong, having to make hard choices to pay for an uncertain, ongoing medical treatment, going through huge hassles and God delaying on delivering you until you’ve basically worn yourself out, and striking up friendships that help you with each step of the process.
I like that the movie includes a really funny appearance by Queen Latifah, because it’s otherwise a pretty intense story that you could call a tearjerker. The medical doctor at Boston Children’s Hospital who attempts to treat Christy Beam’s daughter is played by Eugenio Derbez with a Patch Adams level of silliness and quirkiness and is one of the most memorable characters I’ve seen in a recent movie.
Director: Patricia Riggen
Year of Release: 2016
Character to watch: Jennifer Garner as Christy Beam.
Journal your answers to the following questions after you watch the movie.
- How does this particular character’s journey compare with yours?
- Did the character develop certain characteristics during the movie that you have or that you would like to have? If so, what are those characteristics?
- What obstacles did this character face? What was his or her biggest challenge?
- What would you have done differently if you had been in the same position as the character?
- Is this character the type of person you would be friends with? Why or why not?