*Our NEW Rating System: A is excellent, B is good and anything less than that doesn’t get talked about here, because there’s nothing good to say.
Audience: It says PG, but due to the violence involved, parents need to determine the age they want their children to be before they see what happens in the real world.
The Boss and I went to a movie that I didn’t have high hopes for. I thought it was a “chick flick” with a wonky name. I didn’t know anything about the movie like she did, so I was watching it slightly under duress and pleasantly surprised.
Now Showing: At your local cinemas.
- J. Michael Finley as Bart Millard
- Brody Rose as Young Bart
- Dennis Quaid as Arthur Millard, Bart’s father
- Cloris Leachman as Meemaw, Bart’s grandmother
- Madeline Carroll as Shannon, Bart’s girlfriend
- Taegen Burns as Young Shannon
- Trace Adkins as Scott Brickell, MercyMe’s manager
- Priscilla Shirer as Mrs. Fincher, Bart’s teacher
- Nicole DuPort as Amy Grant
- Jake B. Miller as Michael W. Smith
- Mark Furze as Nathan
The movie opens with a boy about age ten listening intently to his headphones in bed as the sounds of a domestic disturbance filter through the walls and fill his young mind with terror. The rock music playing on his cassette player date this event to be about 1985. His bedroom door is snatched open violently and there stands his unshaven drunken father filled with an alcohol induced rage and a broad belt looking for someone to quench his anger on by beating them into submission. The mother having had enough pain and suffering from this drunken abuser plans her escape. She takes the young boy to his first summer church youth camp and then abandons him there without his knowledge. He returned home a week later on a church bus and sees a U-Haul man loading up all his mother’s stuff and driving away. There is the cliché scene where the little boy chases the moving van down the dusty street and cries his eyes out for his mother.
As children of abusers often do – he learns to cope. You keep your mouth shut, do your chores and try not to do anything to anger the monster in the house. He also tries to do the one thing the monster cared about, FOOTBALL. Despite having some success on the gridiron, the monster (a past football legend in his own mind) is never satisfied with his effort. The teenager doubles his effort to satisfy the monster and is critically injured in practice and unable to continue in high school sports. Lacking sufficient credits to graduate high school because he was forced out of football, and possessing no other known gifts and talents, he tries out for the only open elective – the glee club. Being a macho jock (just like the monster) he tells the teacher he cannot sing, but he can run the audio equipment. She puts him to work as a stage hand. Lo and behold one day the boy is listening to his cassette player and singing along to a tune, and he has accidently left the public address system on. The teacher hears him sing. The die is cast. The movie shows his triumphs, his failures, and the mentors that help guide him along the way.
The young man keeps his faith in God throughout this arduous time.
This is all I’m going to say about this movie, except bring your tissues. If you are a survivor like I am, just rejoice in the ending and keep your faith in the forefront where it belongs, because God is good all the time.