* * * * (Joyce)
* * * (Don)
How much you enjoy this film will be influenced by your religious beliefs and your ability to accept an incredible story based on your own faith.
Based on a true story and best selling book, “Heaven Is For Real” recounts the story of the Burpo family’s extraordinary experience.
Todd Burpo (Greg Kinnear) was the pastor of a struggling small town Nebraska church, where his meager salary made life difficult for his family of four.
His 4-year-old son (Connor Corum) is rushed to the hospital with a ruptured appendix. Following a difficult operation, he casually relates his visit to heaven to his father.
When the boy relates information about people who died before he was born, his father struggles with the possibility that he really did see heaven.
There were the Doubting Thomases within and outside the church, as people struggled with their faith and questioned the possibility of someone actually experiencing seeing Jesus and deceased relatives.
Kinnear is very good as the conflicted minister, and Corum makes you believe his character with his simple, matter-of-fact responses to questions.
The story moves a bit too slowly for me, but Joyce found it to be very powerful and thought-provoking, as the husband and wife (Kelly Reilly) deal with the realities of everyday life, along with the deeper religious questions.
An apparent unrelated scene at the beginning becomes a key factor at the end of the movie.
One thing is certain: the story will challenge your beliefs.