Tag Archives: Christian Movie

Brooklyn: Life Lessons for Young Ladies


Brooklyn (2015 PG-13), directed by John Crowley, is a lovely romantic movie about an Irish girl in 1950’s New York City.  Enjoy the movie with your girlfriends or teenage daughters, and without realizing it, you will learn some life lessons.  Just close your eyes during the unnecessary sex scene.

Learn these four life lessons from this beautiful movie:

  • Homesickness is like most sicknesses.  It will pass.  Eilis (Saoirse Ronan) is young and without prospects for marriage or career in Ireland, so she heads to a new life in Brooklyn.  She feels alone and sad and doubts her decision.  The Catholic priest who facilitates her move has those wise words for her.  Feeling homesick will not last forever.

Even a bright green coat cannot hide Eilis’ nervousness upon arriving in New York.

  • When you are down, help someone else, and you will feel better.  The other girls at Eilis’ boarding house turn their noses up at serving the poor at the church Christmas dinner.  As Eilis serves lonely old Irish immigrant men, her own sorrow is blended with theirs.  When we help other people, we are momentarily distracted from our own problems, and we realize how blessed we truly are!

Eilis, second from right, is the only one from her boarding house who will help serve dinner to the poor at church.

  • There is more than one fish in the sea.  As you watch, notice all the young men who take the time to talk to Eilis.  Any of them could become her young man.  And then when she returns unexpectedly to Ireland, another man falls in love with her.  Do not despair – keep your eyes and your heart open!

The stranger next to you on the bus may be a rather nice young man (Emory Cohen).

  • If you need help, go to the church.  Father Blood (Jim Broadbent) finds Eilis a place to live and a place to work, and does even more when he realizes she needs more support.  The people around us who dedicate their lives to serving at churches are usually alert to help anyone in need, even today.

Look at how cheerful Eilis looks!  Is Brooklyn becoming her new home?

When she gets married and goes back to her boarding house, that is when you should go to get more popcorn.  When you get back to your seat, Eilis will be headed back to Ireland, and headed into the third part of the movie.

Life lessons for all of us, all in a lovely movie!

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The Christmas Candle: Quality Christian Filmmaking


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?


Susan Boyle in her 1890’s costume.


Susan Boyle winning 2009’s “Britain’s Got Talent“.

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.


Samantha Bark’s joyful character.

samantha_barks les mis

Samantha Barks suffers and sings in “Les Miserables”.

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.

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Home Run: A Triple Play in the Theater


I always try to catch faith-based movies in the theater, to support Christian film making.  I live with God in my life, and cannot imagine being without His comfort and peace.

The problem is that sometimes faith-based movies are not as well made as mainstream movies.  The message may be important, but often some of the ingredients that make a movie great are lacking.

Home Run (2013 PG-13) is an excellent example of a Christian message movie that is a great movie on it’s own.

FIRST:  Quality Actors Make a Difference.  A professional baseball player (Scott Elrod) gets suspended after knocking down a bat boy (Juan Martinez) during a drunken rage over an umpire’s call. Forced to return to his home town to attend a 12 step program called Celebrate Recovery, he also must help coach Little League with a classmate from high school (Dorian Brown).  His agent (Vivica A Fox) helps to smooth out his messes.

Watch this clip; you can tell who is a real actor and who was just put in place.  Fortunately, all the important rolls are played by professional actors!

SECOND:  It’s Good Not to Notice the Cinematography.  It is distracting to have strange camera angles (like a view up an actor’s nostrils) or abrupt cuts (like from a dark interior to a bright sunny day).  The cinematographer-director David Boyd (known for shooting TV’s The Walking Dead) was in charge of directing the cameras and the actors, and his experience shows in that the camera work doesn’t show! 

THIRD:  This Movie About Addiction Isn’t Only for Addicts or Christians.  Anyone can enjoy this movie.  The characters are not just recovering from addiction, but also from abuse.  The people mention God, but the director keeps from preaching.  Producer Carol Mathews says, “I think the thing that I just want to say over and over again is that I believe that there’s a huge population of believers, Christians, who sit in our churches week after week and they’re feeling very alone.  And they’re good-willed people, they worship, they do the Bible studies, they’re decent people, but they’re buckling under a load of shame and guilt from past decisions or habits they can’t break. And I believe that this movie is for them, because I think it says, first and foremost, that they’re not alone, and that everyone struggles, and that there’s hope for change.”

As the movie finished the woman sitting near to me turned and said, “This theater should be packed.”

I agree. This is a quality film, an entertaining movie, with a message of hope.

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