MESSAGE IN THE MOVIES
Photo By Universal Pictures
Directed by Ken Kwapis. Starring Drew Barrymore, John Krasinski
Sometimes when you want to feel good about life, you have to go back in time – well, at least back to 1988 – to find an inspiring story “based on real events”.
Big Miracle takes place at a time when Ronald Reagan is president, the Cold War is still alive (but barely), Greenpeace is butting heads with Big Oil, and three California gray whales are trapped in the ice near Barrow, Alaska.
Leave it to the whales to bring everyone together, if only for a moment.
Big Miracle could have gone straight for corny and sentimental in telling this family-friendly story, but it chooses instead to be smart, funny and even satirical as it shows how media coverage and self-interest can change the coldest hearts into doing something decent.
The main characters are Adam, a kind-hearted local reporter (Krasinski) who has been sent up north from Anchorage to do some human-interest stories and gets involved with the story of the trapped whales with Rachel (Barrymore), a Greenpeace activist (and former girlfriend). Adam has also developed a friendship with Nathan (Ahmaogak Sweeney) an Inupiat Eskimo boy, which helps greatly in persuading the residents to set aside their usual inclination to kill and eat the whales and work to save the animals instead.
Big Miracle uses actual news footage from all of the major networks (in that gentler time prior to the Internet) to help tell its story. In retrospect, saving three trapped whales doesn’t seem like it would matter much. But it matters to the whales, doesn’t it?
The movie is very compassionate and kind to all of its characters and manages to make you feel good with a smile on your face coming out of the theater. Considering the dreck that Hollywood often puts on the screens, I would call this a big miracle
Five halos: Different groups of people come together to do something good.
One pitchfork: A few occasions of mild swearing.
Rev. Bruce Batchelor-Glader
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