Friday, March 3, 2017
Tinsel & Tine Experiences the Workings of
The Shack for the 2nd Time
It's been a long time since I was an avid reader, but I at least used to read a book every Lent, something spiritual in nature. I can't say I do it any more, as we've entered the Lenten season on Wednesday (March 1st) and I don't have a book poised at the ready, but back in 2007 my minister at the time, suggested I read William Paul Young's "The Shack". Magical realism is a good way to reach me, as suspension of disbelief comes easy. I remember after reading "The Shack" I felt very good about God and started to see my relationship with the Source of All things in a better light. But on this realm we call Earth, it's just so easy to lose touch with our higher selves, with the Trinity, and with peace. So I fell back into my usual mistrustful relationship with God, knowing there's something there, but having too many questions and too many doubts to always be in a truly positive relationship with God or Jesus and especially myself. I totally forgot about "The Shack".
Cut to 2017 and I hear that Octavia Spencer will be playing God in a movie. Move over Morgan Freeman :) Then I hear the title of the movie, and I'm like, "Oh, I remember reading The Shack", can't wait til this movie comes out". There was only one press screening offered and no general audience preview screenings. However, I did get to run a contest to give away tickets to see the film during it's run of engagement.
Here's the Facebook post with all the entries and both Winners:
If there is one thing I LOVE about running Tinsel & Tine above all else, it's when I'm able to attend the press screenings that happen during the week at 10am, where there's just a dozen or so others in the theater and sometimes less. I don't know why I love it more than going to the movies at night, which of course I love too - but maybe it's the feeling of playing hooky; or in reverse of that, for a moment, I can believe that my work is actually seeing movies; or it could be the free coffee the Ritz theaters offer for morning screenings; or just the privilege in general. I suppose it's all of the above. For this 10am screening of THE SHACK, I got to sit in the very center of the theater, there were two other journalists to my far left in the other section and the PR rep from Allied in the very back of the theater, but it felt like the screening was just for me, and more importantly, it felt like God, called Papa in the book/movie, came to meet me where "I live" to just sit and visit, in the best way possible. Which is why I think I cried through most of the movie, just cried and cried, tears of sadness, relief, knowing and truth...
I know "The Shack" has a lot of detractors. And in fact many Theologians call it dangerous theology; only the author, William P. Young, said he never intended to write a theological treatise. He wanted to write a parable; so it's not based on a real experience, but at the same time, it delivers truth. Well, it may hit you as truth, depending where you are in your spiritual journey. It's also just as easy to dismiss the book/movie as ridiculous and too simplistic.
T&T Short Synopsis: Sam Worthington, who I haven't seen in a while, but I think he's aged very well and what a nice head of hair! Anyway, he plays Mack a father of 3, seemingly happily married, normal household, when tragedy hits during their family camping trip. His wife (Rhada Mitchell) is not with them on this weekend trip, she's got work to do or something, it's not a big deal; but when his older son and daughter's canoe tips over and he has to go save his son from drowning, he leaves his 6 year-old daughter unattended at the trailer, giving a predator enough time to grab her. Her body is never found, but the police do trace the kidnapper to a shack not far from the camping grounds where they find her dress. Of course living with a tragedy like this is impossible for the whole family, but especially hard on Mack who blames himself. Sometime after the loss, Mack receives a mysterious invitation in the mail to return to that shack and meet "Papa" and what he experiences there with the personifications of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, changes his life forever.
|Avraham Aviv Alush, Sam Worthington, Octavia Spencer, Sumire Matsubara|
The Shack is directed by Stuart Hazeldine and it's not really a movie I can review with objectivity; although, I think each role is perfectly and beautifully cast, and the production value really brings the book alive. But it's more a movie judged on whether or not it touches you. I was touched enough to cry in the arms of a movie theater manager, whom I'd never met before - I was trying to get myself together after the film in the lobby, blowing my nose, still sobbing and he came over to give me a hug :) I'm not saying seeing a movie is going to heal everything in me or you, it's not a miracle, don't I wish, but it did remind me that maybe I don't need to have all the answers right now, except to know that God is especially fond of me.
I was also moved hearing the author's own true story in this interview: (note: video embed will not be visible to those receiving T&T via RSS feed click HERE to view)
T & T's LAMB (movie bloggers association) Score: 4.5 outta 5
click to COMMENT
While You're Here
Tinsel & Tine (Reel & Dine): Philly Film, Food & Events Blog