Director: Roxann Dawson
Starring: Chrissy Metz, Josh Lucas
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This weekend saw the opening of comic-book film Hellboy, which will no doubt shoot to the top of the box office, as well as family-friendly animal film A Dog’s Way Home and French-produced kids animation Racetime. But for those looking for a Christian-centred film ahead of the Easter weekend, Breakthrough should be your pick.
Based on a true story and a book, it focuses on mom Joyce Smith (Chrissy Metz), dad Brian Smith (Josh Lucas), and their adopted son, 14-year-old John (Marcel Ruiz). They live in a close-knit community in a small town in Missouri and are active in their church.
One day, John and his friends are ice-skating on a pond. The ice gives way underneath them, and John plunges into the water. He is submerged for nearly 15 minutes before being pulled out, and had no pulse for nearly 45 minutes. John is now in a coma and doctors predict he has no chance of regaining consciousness.
The film sees his parents, especially passionately faithful Joyce, lean on God and prayer to bring their son back.
Metz is best known for playing Kate Pearson in the NBC drama This Is Us, for which she has earned Best Supporting Actress nominations at the Primetime Emmy Awards (2017) and Golden Globe Awards (2017 and 2018). She does extremely well in this role, playing a grief-stricken mother in a relatable way.
Also in the film is That 70s Show’s Topher Grace, who plays the community’s local youth pastor. Grace seems to have been struggling to land blockbuster roles since coming off the popular sitcom, but fits well into his character as a pastor trying to connect with teenagers.
Secular viewers won’t enjoy this film, as its faith-based explanations for events might ask them to suspend their belief. But Christian viewers will find plenty here to love. Unlike many Christian films, it’s never too treacly or ham-handed. Sure, it gets a little bit melodramatic here and there, but what’s a good family drama without a little cheese? This is wholesome entertainment for the Easter period ... tuck in.