I’m not sure if The Christmas Candle (2013 PG) actually qualifies as a Christan film. There is no message of redemption or salvation. For a Christmas movie, baby Jesus is rarely mentioned. The film’s website calls it a “timeless holiday film for the entire family” based on a book by inspirational author Max Lucado. But there is talk of God’s grace and of prayer, and much of the action surrounds a young pastor and his congregation.
In an English country village, every 25 years a miracle happens. An angel blesses one candle in the candle maker’s shop, and whoever the candle makers (Leslie Manville and Sylvester McCoy) give it to will have their prayed wish granted. Past recipients have included a orphaned child who prayed for a adoption.
It’s 1890, and time for a Christmas Candle miracle. But the progressive new pastor David (Hans Matheson) will not believe or preach about this miracle, to the shock of the villagers. Lovely skeptic Emily (Samantha Barks), society matron Lady Camdon (Barbara Flynn) and sturdy church lady Eleanor (Susan Boyle) all have various opinions about the candle miracle. Are good deeds and acts of kindness a miracle in themselves? Is a Christmas Candle miracle necessary?
We get to enjoy Susan Boyle singing, and her stiff acting suits the character she plays. I wanted to hear Samantha Barks sing, as she did so well as tragic Eponine in Les Miserables (2012), but it was nice to see her in a cheerful role.
Importantly, this is a quality film, a well made movie! The setting is beautiful, the costumes and hairpieces are accurate (they wear corsets!), the acting is strong, the script well-written, and the story is compelling and not completely predictable.
Echolight Studios, who distributed The Christmas Candle, says it “produces and distributes high-quality movies for families of faith.” In this high-quality movie, Echolight Studios is successful. Let’s hope people go to see this movie in the theaters, and it can be successful financially, too.