Skip to comments.A Real-life Spiritual Journey is Brought to the Big Screen in Heaven is for Real
Posted on 04/16/2014 7:10:37 AM PDT by Kaslin
There are few people who know pain as heart-wrenching as a parent who believes that he or she could be losing a child. In the new film Heaven is for Real, the parents of Colton Burpo (Connor Corum) feel that pain.
After a series of troubling events, that couple face that pain as they watch and wait to see if their son Colton will survive after his appendix ruptures and hes brought into the hospital for an operation. In the weeks prior, Coltons father Todd (Greg Kinnear) a minister in the local Church had faced several health crises of his own. He fractured his leg during a softball game. He faced down at least seven kidney stones. During those periods, he was in more physical pain than he believed he could bear but none of that agony pales in comparison to what he feels sitting with his wife Sonja (Kelly Reilly) in the hospital room waiting to see if his son will survive.
We have good days and bad days and we seldom know [at the beginning of each] which is which, he saysan idea that pervades this entire story as Coltons family struggles through both types both before and after the operation.
Colton ultimately survives his hospitalization and when he returns home, he speaks out about his experiences on the operating table. He believes he visited heavenwhere he says he met Jesus and listened to the angels sing. Slowly but surely, the youngster publicly reveals details about his out-of-body experience as the people in Todds church begin to question their faith and their minister.
Co-writer/director Randall Wallace presents this storybased on the nonfiction book Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back from a surprisingly cynical perspective. Wallace isnt cynical himself about the story but all of the characters heresave for the innocent Coltonhave massive doubts about Coltons story. Instead of being driven forward in his faith, its Todd himself who questions his religion more after Coltons experience. Did Colton really see heaven, he wonders, especially because the doctors inform him that Colton never actually died on the operating table.
If he wasnt dead, how could he have seen the afterlife?
In the past, Wallaceas a screenwriter has presented battles onscreen in films like We Were Soldiers, Pearl Harbor, and Braveheartthe latter of which earned him an Oscar nomination. He also has directed uplifting features such as the horse-racing drama, Secretariat. Here, he seemingly combines the pain of battle (in this case, a spiritual battle rather than a physical one) with the idealism of a movie like Secretariat. When people who have faith in Coltons story, that faith is renewed. But when people have reasonable doubts about its validity, they find themselves questioning the spiritual ground they stand on.
Its here that Wallace succeeds in making a feature that can appeal to believers and non-believers alike. The journey to faith is never presented as a clear or an obvious one. There are plenty of obstacles that stand in the way of believing Coltons story, and Kinnear shows in his character a man who wants to believe but is overwhelmed by doubt and indecision.
Aided by a cast of characters who question Colton themselves (including Thomas Haden Church and Margo Martindale), Heaven is for Real isnt as straightforward as its title suggests, and its all the better for it.
I’m glad gave me a Bible. Now I have no need of visions or seers of visions, since they can provide nothing of benefit.
Im glad God gave me a Bible. Now I have no need of visions or seers of visions, since they can provide nothing of benefit.
eye hath not seen...but man will imagine. big bux are at stake and wallets willing to be entertained. Id rather watch reruns of the Hillbilles.
I don’t know if I’m seeing this one, but don’t miss “God’s Not Dead”—
*rme* It’s true story
I read the book and one thing really bothers me about the father. He didn’t have a video camera? a tape recorder? a pencil and paper? Much later in time, when the father finally does start writing everything down he can remember, the son can no longer recall much of the story.
Wonderful book, I hope the film is just as good.
I forgot the verse but basically says no one comes back. Look at the rich man and the beggar. Not going to see it.
The parents and the boy who is now 14 were interviewed on Fox and Friends a couple of weeks or so ago
That’s your privilege. *shrug*
The Book says:
But as it is written:
Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.
. . . .
Heaven is real...
It’s all straight from the imagination of the soon to be very rich pastor father. PT Barnam said “there’s a sucker born every minute”. He’s right.
I finally had the chance to see this today. I loved it and highly recommend it.
Myself, I had to have a BOX of Kleenex. It's not about too much estrogen...my male friend had to keep from crying. And he's not even a practicing “anything”.
In these “dark” times, I like to see a movie that is so inspirational.
If you choose to not believe, that is your perogative, but why insist on bashing those of us who do.
One of my male friends cried like a baby, too. I didn’t realize freepers hadn’t liked it. Too bad; Heaven is for Real has a lot to offer.