Randall Wallace, the screenwriter behind “Braveheart” and the director behind the epics “The Man in the Iron Mask,” “We Were Soldiers,” and “Secretariat,” has painted on a wide narrative canvas throughout his career. Most of Wallace’s protagonists had an expansive (or at the least, determined) vision of how to achieve their seemingly insurmountable goals. Even with their hard earned victories, these heroes are understandably tied to the binds and unconditional love of family and country.
It’s Wallace’s unabashed humanity and sentiment which has me interested in “Heaven is For Real,” a movie based on a nonfiction book penned by Todd Burpo. Played in the movie by “Rake” actor Greg Kinnear, Burpo is initially skeptical about his 4-year-old son’s (Connor Corum) claim that he actually visited heaven during his near death experience. The child also claims he’s seen his great grandfather, the sister that was never born, and the pearly gates itself.
The film, which comes out April 16, undeniably has a Christian bent and with Easter just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to reach such a spiritual film. Though I’m a practicing Catholic, my main interest behind “Heaven is for Real” lies in Wallace’s storytelling. The filmmaker, who’s also a novelist, is extremely picky over which projects he directs, so hopefully his magic touch isn’t lost on “Heaven is for Real.”
Whether one is secular or lives a faith filled existence, movies are movies. I just want “Heaven is for Real” to grab my attention and, when no one is looking, get me a bit misty eyed. Check out the trailer, and feel free to post your comments below!