Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Higher Ground

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some language and sexual content
Profanity:Some very strong language
Nudity/Sex:Some very explicit sexual references and images and explicit situations, teen pregnancy
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking, drugs
Violence/Scariness:Characters in peril, very sad illness and disability
Diversity Issues:Diverse characters
Movie Release Date:August 26, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some language and sexual content
Profanity: Some very strong language
Nudity/Sex: Some very explicit sexual references and images and explicit situations, teen pregnancy
Alcohol/Drugs: Drinking, drugs
Violence/Scariness: Characters in peril, very sad illness and disability
Diversity Issues: Diverse characters
Movie Release Date: August 26, 2011

Vera Farmiga (“Up in the Air,” “The Departed”) directed and stars in “Higher Ground,” the true story of a woman’s spiritual journey, based on Higher Ground: A Memoir of Salvation Found and Lost by Carolyn S. Briggs.

Advertisement

It is a rare film about faith that is sincere and respectful in its appreciation for believers and those who struggle to find a connection with God.  We first see Corinne as a little girl in church, shyly raising her hand when the preacher (Bill Irwin) asks the children to close their eyes and put their hands up if this is the day they will open their hearts to Jesus.  As a teenager (played by Farmiga’s younger sister, Taissa), she becomes pregnant and marries her musician boyfriend.  After a near-death experience, he becomes a believer and they join a community of Christians who live simply and support each other.  Corinne’s closest relationship is with her friend Annika (Dagmara Dominczyk), and is inspired by Annika’s ability to be passionate in all of her relationships, including her connection to the Almighty.

Advertisement

Corinne struggles to find that kind of passionate transcendence, but she feels constrained when her preacher’s wife gently chides her for impinging on worship that is reserved for men and for wearing a dress that shows her shoulders.  She prays for a certainty and completeness in faith that she sees around her but cannot achieve.  Just as her husband’s faith is cemented by a tragedy averted, hers is tested to the breaking point by a loss she cannot understand.

Advertisement

As a director, Farmiga allows us to share privileged moments with Corinne and the other characters and as an actress, she glows with the humility and honesty of her seeking.  Her quest, which clearly is continuing as she stands on the threshold at the end of the film (and as we know she will go on to write her book) is itself a form of prayer, as is this movie, a reaching out for understanding and and openness that makes faith a continual source of renewal.

Parents should know that this movie includes some strong language and very explicit sexual references and images, sexual situations, and teen pregnancy.  Characters drink and one has drugs, there is a bus accident, and a character is ill and disabled.

Family discussion: How did Corinne’s faith change over time?  How did it differ from her husband’s?  From Annika’s?  What will she do next?  How does Farmiga let you know what she thinks of the characters?

If you like this, try: “The Apostle”

Previous Posts

Tonight on PBS: Memorial Day Concert
On the eve of Memorial Day, PBS will broadcast a star-studded lineup for the annual Memorial Day concert and tribute to the military. For over 25 years, this multiple-award-winning television event has honored the military service and sacrifice ...

posted 12:00:37pm May. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Movies for Memorial Day
I've already written about great documentaries and feature films about the military to watch on Memorial Day.  These recent documentaries about our 21st century conflicts give the military a chance to tell their own story.  They are not ...

posted 8:00:08am May. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Batkid Begins
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/JMUw4Ndpbdw?rel=0&controls=0&showinfo=0" frameborder="0"] The amazing Make-a-Wish story that captivated the world is now a movie, and I've been looking forward to it ...

posted 8:00:33am May. 23, 2015 | read full post »

A Clip from A.D. The Bible Continues -- Jesus Appears to Saul
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHhESz-i9wY[/youtube] Jesus appears to Saul to turn him towards righteousness in this clip from Episode 8 of "A.D. The Bible Continues," premiering Sunday, May 24, 2015, at 9/8c on NBC. ...

posted 10:52:40pm May. 22, 2015 | read full post »

Tomorrowland's Inspirations
Brad Bird's gorgeously imagined "Tomorrowland" is not just inspired by an area in the original Disneyland, celebrating its 60th anniversary this week, it is a tribute to the sensationally imaginative work of the "imagineers" and artists who ...

posted 8:03:49am May. 22, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.