Friends, I’ve had the opportunity to see an unusual and wonderful movie that you can see now in theaters: “Southern Gospel.” It is filled with so much beauty and redemption; as well as the deep, sometimes overwhelming pain that we can experience living on this earth. Let me tell you more about this film, and my impressions of it, its actors, and theme. Plus, you can enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card below!
About “Southern Gospel”
Here’s a brief synopsis of the film from its production company:
“Samuel Allen, a 1960’s rockstar, finds himself in jail after struggling with years of anger and blame toward organized religion that has led him down a road of rebellion. In a moment of divine intervention, the judge dismisses drug charges against him under the pretense that Samuel speaks to local schools and churches about the dangers of drugs. Given a second chance, he follows in his father’s footsteps to become a preacher, overcoming the influence of a powerful church leader with a personal vendetta against his family.
SOUTHERN GOSPEL is the story of a man overcoming brokenness and never surrendering the dream on his journey to find the gospel…”Southern Gospel.””
The truly wonderful and so-believable cast includes:
- Four-time Emmy nominee Max Ehrich as Samuel
- Katelyn Nacon (“The Walking Dead”) as Julia
- Emma Myers (Netflix’s “Wednesday”) as Angie
- J. Alphonse Nicholson (“P. Valley,” “Just Mercy”) as Barry
- Gary Weeks (“Outer Banks,” “Spiderman: Homecoming”) as Samuel’s father, Joe
My heart was captured by the “Southern Gospel” trailer the first time I saw it–and oh, how I loved the film when I watched it, as well!
Stretching over a time period from the 1950s to the 1980s (though the very end carries viewers up to the present day), “Southern Gospel” brings it all: incredible music, fantastic performances by talented actors, a believable (and true!) storyline–and, told most beautifully, the redemptive power and love of God as He reaches out to human beings.
Do you ever feel as though you’re not “good enough” for God, or to set foot inside a church? People can certainly make us feel that way (and really, our own flesh can as well). That’s completely not how God feels about us. Recently, the pastor of a church we’ve just begun to attend preached a service on that very thing: the grace of God, offered to us all; and how that grace, extended to us and paid for by Jesus’s death on the cross and sealed by His resurrection, is the only thing that saves us. We’re not saved by our works, or by living a “good” life, or by our own winsomeness, attending the “right” church, or our standing here on earth.
It’s only His grace.
Samuel is loved incredibly by his dad, Joe, who pastors the church they attend. Joe preaches God’s love and grace, and encourages his son and parishioners to dwell in those things, and to hold fast to their dream and calling (intertwined, as this story tells it). Samuel’s gifting is in his music, but also in his ability to preach. Contrary to his dad’s sermons and life, though, some church officials are quick to tell people (including Samuel) that it’s not just God and His love. Instead, it’s having “perfect” behavior that saves a person–including not drinking. Not swimming with the opposite sex. Not dancing. Keeping all the church rules.
And Samuel is young enough that he hasn’t been able to discern the difference between those, just yet. And when tragedies strike, he walks away from God, his faith, and the church.
Those are not the end of Samuel’s (or our!) story. Because God has never let go of him. And his redemption has been waiting for him.
And…my favorite parts of this movie
Y’all, there is so much to recommend in “Southern Grace.” The acting is superb; you feel as though you really know the characters. It’s not really what I’d call a typical faith-based movie, however; the pain Samuel and his family and friends feel is real, honest, and sometimes terrible (I’d give a content warning for suicide, abuse, and drug and alcohol addiction). Yet while the pain he and his loved ones experience is realistic, the movie is not hopeless. God’s hand of redemption, love, and help are there, reaching out for and saving his precious children.
I loved so much about this movie! But I don’t want to give you spoilers, so I’ll make the description of those things brief. Here they are:
- Sam’s incredible relationship with his loving dad, Joe
- The forgiveness and grace not only that God extends to the characters (again, remember that this is based on a true story!) but that they extend to each other
- The faithfulness seen in so many relationships
- And last but not least, the music! It’s fantastic and covers so many eras
I recommend this movie to you wholeheartedly. It’s not really a film for kids but it’s something that you could take your teens to. There are so many conversations you could have based on this movie; on faith, God’s love for us, what church can be, and how to get through the pains and sorrows of life. Just so good!
Watch the “Southern Gospel” trailer here
Buy tickets for “Southern Gospel” here
Purchase tickets for “Southern Gospel” at the movie’s website below (plus you can check out more about the film there!)
Buy “Southern Gospel” movie tickets here
Enter to win an Amazon gift card here
You can enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card now, as we celebrate the release of “Southern Gospel!” Just click on the link below that says, “Enter here!” That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter in a variety of ways. US entrants only, ages 18 and older. Giveaway closes 3/18/23. Best wishes!
Many thanks to BMG for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own.