Many Christians’ condemnation of Hollywood is that Hollywood output often condemns Christianity. “Higher Ground,” the directorial debut of actress Vera Farmiga (“Source Code”), is not one of those movies.
Based on a true story, the film finds Farmiga playing the central character, Corrine. Brought up in a fundamentalist community where reading “Lord of the Flies” and wearing a shoulder-baring maternity dress are big “no-no”s, her faith is rock-solid during her marriage to longtime boyfriend Ethan (Joshua Leonard, “Shark Night 3D”), but fractures form once tragedy strikes a dear friend.
When Corrine questions why she feels like she’s “wrestling something nameless,” she encounters not answers, but admonitions that run counter to the kindness she’s long lived. Alone, she prays aloud, “Lord, help me. I can’t feel you. I feel nothing. Draw near to me. Where are you?” His location may not be what every moviegoer prays she’ll find, but through Farmiga’s hands, Corrine’s journey seems earnest and real, without casting judgment on either side.
No one’s a caricature to be ridiculed.
Naturally, Corrine’s the most fleshed-out character of them all, and Farmiga is excellent, even if the movie is just OK (the “Precious”-esque dream sequences do some credibility damage). It’s worth seeing simply for her final-scene speech — can she get an “Amen”?