With the GMA Dove Awards just a few weeks away, it’s a perfect time to catch up on the movies nominated for “Inspirational Film of the Year.” It’s always more fun to watch awards ceremonies when you’re familiar with the nominees, and even if you’re not planning on watching the awards, it never hurts to have a list of clean, uplifting movies to pick from.
God’s Not Dead 2
This sequel takes place in the same town of Hope Springs that was introduced in the first film but this story originates in a high school. Grace Wesley (Melissa Joan Hart), an AP History teacher, is passionate about education as well as her faith. She comforts a grieving student with a conversation over coffee, where she ends up sharing the root of her hope. Later in the classroom, the same student asks a direct question about Jesus to which Grace answers with a quote from scripture. This lands her in court with her job in the balance, which stirs up an intense public battle over the freedom to mention God in the public school setting. God’s Not Dead 2 is directed by Harold Cronk and produced by Pure Flix Productions.
Miracles From Heaven
Based on the true story of the Beam family, this movie stars Jennifer Garner as Christy Beam–wife, and mom to three daughters. When it is discovered that one of her girls, Anna, has a rare disease, Christy and her husband are desperate for a solution but are told that it is incurable. When climbing a tree with her sister, a branch breaks and Anna falls a long distance. The fall, miraculously, impacts her head in such a way that it mysteriously cures her disease. Their family and community are forever changed. Miracles From Heaven also features Queen Latifah, and is directed by Patricia Riggen, and produced by TriStar Pictures along with AFFIRM Films.
Risen tells the story of the resurrection of Christ through the journey of a skeptical Roman soldier. Joseph Fiennes plays Clavius, a Roman who (in the movie) was present at the crucifixion, and later entrusted with the task of proving what happened to the body of Christ after his death, so as to prevent rumors of a risen Messiah from spreading. Along the way, his own beliefs are challenged. Kevin Reynolds directs and the film is produced by LD Entertainment and AFFIRM Films.
At first glance Tony and Elizabeth Jordan’s lives seem enviable but behind the doors of their beautiful home, their marriage is falling apart. Elizabeth (Priscilla Shirer) is weighed down with the stress of marital discord, fearful that her husband is unfaithful, and concerned with how their bickering affects their daughter. As a real estate agent, she is introduced to Clara, who is ready to sell her home. On the house tour, she shows Elizabeth her most important room, a closet she calls the “War Room,” where she has spent years praying through her marriage and the ups and downs of life. Elizabeth is inspired to explore the power of prayer for her own family. She establishes her own “War Room,” and the result is life-changing. War Room is directed by Alex Kendrick and produced by Kendrick Brothers Pictures, AFFIRM Films and Provident Films.
Woodlawn is based on the true story of a high school football team in 1970’s Alabama that was transformed by the gospel. A talented African-American athlete joins a mixed race football team in the violent tensions of desegregation. The team’s racial divisions and prejudice reflect that of the surrounding town. The coach (Nic Bishop) is unable to unify the team until Hank (Sean Astin) comes along to share the gospel message of hope and love with the young men. Almost the entire team decide to follow Jesus and the ripple effect spreads far beyond the football field. Jon Voight also stars in this film directed by Andrew Erwin and produced by Erwin Brothers Entertainment, Provident Films and Pure Flix Productions.