Heaven is Real: movie review

A very popular movie (earned $21.5 million in its first weekend) this past weekend was Heaven Is Real. Did you see it? What are your thoughts. Here are a few from Mary Valle at Religion Dispatches:

Too much is blue in this movie: the sky, the clothes, the stucco wall

that Todd stands in front of at the Crossroads Wesleyan Church—and Colton’s big blue eyes. Heaven is, of course, blue. This is what they mean by ‘All-American,’ I think, looking at Colton, who is the very picture of aww-inducing little boy-hood: a blue-eyed, Protestant who lives somewhere that is, for the most part, landlocked.What about the rest of us?, I wonder. But even being “All-American” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be anymore (if it ever was.) Such is the discontent of Pastor Burpo.

When Colton begins to burble about things he saw in heaven while on the operating table, Todd gets rather agitated. Everyone else seems to not care or shrugs off Colton’s fancies as being a product of the potent combination of a 4-year-old’s sense of unreality combined with a 4-year-old’s ability to hear things adults think he doesn’t. Todd gets weirder and weirder as his obsession with Colton’s visions increases; it’s like some kind of Protestant Vertigo in Nebraska around the edges.

Jokes aside, Heaven is for Real made me uneasy—although Pastor Burpo in real life spun the straw of Colton’s scanty “visions” into a fair amount of gold, what about the rest of the “hard working Americans” in Imperial, Nebraska? What about us all? We just have cool it down here, work really hard for little to no reward, and wait for an icky greeting-card-bland heaven? Not being a Protestant, perhaps I don’t understand the allure of this movie, but “inspiring” isn’t the adjective that springs to mind. That would be “soul-crushing.”

Read the whole review here

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