A Touching Tale of Faith and Community

A Touching Tale of Faith and Community

Review: Ordinary Angels

This faith-based drama directed by Jon Gunn isn’t afraid to tug at your heartstrings. Starring Academy Award Winner Hilary Swank and Alan Ritchson (star of Reacher), the film tells the true story of Sharon (Swank), a hairdresser in a small Kentucky town, and Ed (Ritchson), a widower struggling to raise his two daughters. When Ed’s youngest daughter needs a life-saving liver transplant, Sharon takes it upon herself to rally the community and raise the funds for the surgery.

Swank delivers a powerful performance as Sharon, a woman grappling with her own demons while finding renewed purpose in helping Ed. Her character is flawed but relatable, her tough exterior masking a well of compassion. Ritchson portrays Ed with quiet strength, a man burdened by grief yet determined to fight for his daughters. Their chemistry is believable, creating a bond that anchors the film’s emotional core.

The film excels in its portrayal of small-town life. The community feels genuine, with characters who support and uplift each other. The script by Meg Tilly and Kelly Fremon Craig seemingly avoids some of the clichés of the genre, painting a realistic picture of the challenges faced by Ed and the lengths to which Sharon goes to help him.

Ordinary Angels wears its intentions and faith on its sleeve, but it doesn’t preach I large part due to the skill of its leads in Swank and Ritchson. The film explores themes of hope, resilience, and the power of human connection without being overly sentimental or saccharine.

Some viewers might find the religious aspects a bit heavy-handed, but the core message of the film is that of kindness and compassion which resonates universally.

Director Jon Gunn masterfully uses a specific time in Kentucky where there was a brutal cold snap in 1994 to heighten the drama in the film. The harsh winter conditions become a metaphor for the struggles faced by Ed and his family, while acts of community generosity shine even brighter against the bleak landscape. The film is visually evocative, capturing the beauty of the small town and the harshness of the winter.

The supporting cast adds depth to the story. Nancy Travis shines as Sharon’s wise and supportive friend, while Tamala Jones delivers a pivotal performance as a nurse who becomes a crucial ally.

Ordinary Angels is a heartwarming and uplifting film that celebrates the power of faith and community. It’s a film that will leave you with a renewed sense of hope and a reminder that even the most ordinary people can be extraordinary angels.

If you’re looking for a feel-good movie that restores your faith in humanity, Ordinary Angels is definitely worth a watch. You may even shed a few tears along the way.

Ordinary Angels is available to rent from June 5.


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