Tonight my wife and I were blessed with an opportunity to get a preview screening of the upcoming film called “Heaven is for Real” based on the book of the same name. It’s been a few years since I read the New York Times Best Selling book so I was very excited to see the film adaptation. I can say, without hesitation, that Sony Pictures did a great job. I was so impressed by the simple, yet powerful portrayal of a family dealing with the visions their 4 year old son had of Heaven.
If you’ve been around the blog (and my reviews) for any length of time, you know I have been skeptical of “Christian Films” and have voiced how I often view them through the lens of much more than just a feel good story. I DO take into account acting, cinematography and overall messaging. I’m not knocking some of the other films, I just feel like these elements are important in this culture. Is the story not just telling the hope of Christianity, but the struggle and the journey we all walk? Does everything get a pretty bow at the end, or are their real questions we simply cannot answer? Heaven is for Real does a great job of walking this line while presenting a story which some may still find simply unbelievable.
The film also focuses on the struggle of Colton Burpo’s father. As a Pastor, he finds himself questioning the visions of his son as well as the words he has preached. I appreciated this struggle. I appreciated that they were not afraid to present his journey and that of his family as much as Colton. There is enough comic relief to keep it fun and enjoyable as well.
As we drove home, I told my wife that it is interesting what Hollywood is presenting this Easter. On one hand you have the powerful story of Jesus as told through the film “Son of God” (releasing this weekend). On the other hand you have the soft, heartwarming story of a child that visits Heaven. It’s almost like Hollywood is giving us the darkness of Good Friday (Son of God) and the hope of Easter Sunday (Heaven is for Real) through two very different films.
Mark your calendars for Wednesday, April 15th. They are releasing “Heaven is for Real” early in advance of Easter weekend. You won’t want to miss it.
For more about Heaven is for Real, check out the official web page (HERE).