Ordinary Angels

“Love your neighbor”: yes, simple to say—harder to do, but the new film Ordinary Angels tells a story where loving your neighbor moves a mountain and, in the process, heals hearts.

Hilary Swank grounds the story with her no-nonsense, alcoholic character, hairdresser Sharon Stevens, who notices a tragic story in the paper. A local roofer has lost his wife and now his little girl nears death too. Can’t anything be done to secure the new liver that would give her life? Unfortunately, roofer Ed Schmitt lacks insurance—and carries $400,000 in medical debt.

Schmitt’s quiet anger and despair feel real and heartbreaking. The obstacles anger him. As if extreme debt and widowhood aren’t enough, now his daughter? Plus the worst blizzard in years? We watch Ed rage against the obstacles in those shattering hours when grace has yet to appear. Actor Alan Ritchson, recognized for streaming shows like Reacher, delivers a strong performance.

Director Jon Gunn is known for writing, editing, and/or directing a range of movies from quirky-fun My Date with Drew to the more recent The Jesus Revolution. Actress-writer Meg Tilly wrote the screenplay with Kellie Fremon Craig, who adapted Are You There, God, It’s Me, Margaret. The worthy supporting cast includes Nancy Travis and Tamala Jones.

Ordinary Angels uses excellent production values to deliver a story about the glittering miracles that arise when we choose love that returns our neighbor to the land of hope.

Set in 1994 Louisville, Ky., Ordinary Angels is inspired by a true story. (Lionsgate)

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