A family is in crisis after several events that cause them to clash with religion, the law, and each other. Epic Media invited me to a private screening of this lovely film directed by Warren Fast, who makes his directorial debut and even plays a minor role in the movie. He also wrote the movie. That’s what you call a triple threat of talent. You might have seen him act previously in the movie Geostorm.
This faith-based film has already been nominated for “Best Picture” from the International Christian Film Festival. That’s a pretty impressive start for a new director, don’t you think? I had the privilege of interviewing the director of this film and now you can see our conversation on my Movie Review Mom YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/hKKG0-2-810
The movie was shot in only 19 days! Filming took place in Panama City, Florida. There were no sets; all locations were real places. Sadly, Hurricane Michael hit the area shortly after the filming finished. The good news is that they finished all of the principal photography; otherwise, they wouldn’t have been able to go back to re-shoot.
Because of the quarantines associated with the Coronavirus pandemic, Finding Grace has gone straight to streaming. You can now watch it from the comfort and safety of your home online at https://amzn.to/3aExbSe
IS IT ANY GOOD? (A-)
The music at the beginning is lovely and immediately lets you know you’re in for a viewing that will cause you to reflect on what you’re about to see. The filmmakers tried very hard not to preach, but to simply show gospel principles. Many Christian denominations were intentionally represented. You don’t have to be religious to still enjoy the film and get something out of it. When asked why the director chose this particular story and genre for his first film, he explained that he loves the Lord and wanted to devote his first big project to focus on the Savior and His gospel. The message is one of hope and how, as we reach out to help others, our own struggles and pain diminish. Director Warren Fast stated in our interview, “The way to really get through things is to look outside of ourselves to others who may be in need.”
Most of the acting is pretty good, led by Jasen Wade, who is fantastic in everything he does. He always elevates the quality of acting among all of the other actors in scenes he’s in. The leading lady is teenager Paris Warner who carries the film very well and is up to the task of a roller coaster of emotions. You may want to get your tissues ready for some scenes. She does a great job as an eye-rolling, obnoxious teenager in the beginning. You just want to “ground” her or something, so she’ll snap out of her terrible adolescent attitude. One of the actresses in the movie, Kisha Oglesby, was also nominated for “Best Supporting Actress” for her role in this movie by the International Christian Film Festival.
There are some light-hearted moments to help break up all of the serious drama, something that is always appreciated and gives your tear ducts time to recover. Some of the pacing within the dialogue stalls, but otherwise, it flows naturally and is believable. Occasionally, it’s hard to understand what people say in certain scenes. Several characters illustrate a character arc that reveals growth and allows you to experience their hearts along their journey of healing and hope.
IS IT OKAY FOR YOUR KIDS? (PG)
A teenage girl swears and her father tells her to watch her mouth. Otherwise, the only other “swear” words you hear are “friggin” and “crap.” There are also some scenes from a prison show that someone watches on a TV, but all the profanity from the show is bleeped out.
There is a serious issue that is revealed later in the movie that you might want to talk to your kids about. Parents will also want to talk to their kids about the influence their friends have on them, which is why it’s important to choose good friends. The light-hearted moments occur between the siblings in the story. Point out to your kids how siblings can be such a blessing and provide home-grown friendship when everyone works to show love and kindness. There are many other lessons learned worth discussing as a family after watching the film. It’s generally a family-friendly film that all ages can enjoy.
ANY WORTHWHILE MESSAGES?
- Choices and consequences
- Listen to inspiration
- Judging others
- Peace, pain, sadness
- Being a single parent
- Service to others diminishes our own pain and challenges.
Some insightful lines from the movie are:
- “You can’t blame God. He’s always there.” – Conner Rose (Jasen Wade)
- “God has always wanted loving disciples serving of their own free will, not mindless slaves.” – Bishop Reed (David Keith)
- “We’re expected to forgive others through our love to our fellowman.” – Bishop Reed (David Keith)
- “I needed to make a decision. You know, all in or all out. Once I realized God was all in and always was, the choice was easy.” – Bryan Shaw (Warren Fast)
- “God is a God of love, not of punishment.” – Bishop Reed (David Keith)
- “Decisions have consequences.” – Conner Rose (Jasen Wade)
Movie Review Mom: Trina Boice teaches for BYU-I, is an author of 30 books, and a mother of 4 sons. You can watch her reviews on the Movie Review Mom YouTube channel at www.Youtube.com/c/MovieReviewMom You can also listen to her podcast called “Daily Inspirational Quotes Hosted by Trina” on Amazon Echo devices and all other podcast platforms. She founded an online school and continues to create courses at www.LifelongLearningEducation.com She is an author coach at www.FromBook2Business.com Because she is a popular speaker in China and loves to travel around the world, she created www.EmptyNestTravelHacker.com You can see all of her books and win prizes at www.TrinasBooks.com You can also find @TrinaBoice on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.