I Can Only Imagine— The Movie

Sadly, most Christian movies are long on preaching and short on acting, plot, and to the non-believer it seems ‘inauthentic’ to say the least. Many of them are preaching, or in this case singing to the choir. Well, this movie is a tearjerker in some ways, and the story is a real story about the lead singer of Mercy Me and his turbulent relationship with his father, an abusive father. This story is not so much about the song, except tangentially, it’s focus is on a dysfunctional family story that unfortunately is all too real and familiar even within Christian circles. First of all, there is some fine acting in this movie by Dennis Quaid. Indeed, this may be the best acting I’ve ever seen by this particular gentleman. Michael Finley plays Bart Millard, and does a good job of showing the arc of his narrative, and all the baggage he was carrying around. Trace Atkins plays the eventual manager of Mercy Me. The story is basically set in the late 80s and early 90s in Greenville Texas.

This movie is just fine for a family to see together, for struggling families with somewhat rebellious children it may be a significant help, beyond the sentiment of the story itself. The film is under two hours, and basically tells the story through the eyes of Bart, from start to finish. Is this Oscar material? No. But nor is just Christian schmaltz either. It’s a story about redemption, reconciliation, healing within a family and frankly many of us could learn something from it. As a wise person once said, don’t dash your children’s hopes and dreams. Dreams are what a better reality is often made of.


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