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All Saints: A Review

Published September 4, 2017


My wife and I decided it was time for us have a date night, so we went to the movies.

Our choice was the John Corbett film, All Saints, and it was well worth it. It's based on the true story of a corporate salesman turned Episcopal pastor, Michael Spurlock (Corbett), whose first assignment is to close a dying country church. He finds himself conflicted not only by the attitudes of the remaining parishioners but by the desperate needs of a group of refugees from war-torn Burma who unexpectedly show up in his church. His bishop, Eldon Thompson (Gregory Alan Williams) warns him to follow orders even when he disagrees with them, his wife Aimee (Cara Buono) advises him not to mess things up by being, well, by being him, and his young son Atticus (Myles Moore) is as lost and out of place as the refugees themselves.

When the corporate buyers show up to begin appraising the land, Spurlock can't go through with it and kicks them out. He convinces his wife God told him to keep the land and turn it into a farm to supply food for the refugees and sell the extra crops to pay the church's mortgage. Taking the refugee leader Ye Win (Nelson Lee) with him, he gets the council of Bishops to give him 6 months to make his plan work.

Tests and trials lie ahead for the struggling church, made worse for Spurlock personally by the acid disapproval of a retired military, ex-farmer and widower named Forrest (Barry Corbin) who doesn't trust him. Every time victory seems to be within reach, the bottom falls out, until Spurlock is convinced it's over and there's no hope left.

But God is able to do the impossible; I won't spoil the ending for you, but you'll walk out immensely satisfied, especially since, as I mentioned, this is based on a true story, and was actually filmed at the real church with many of the congregation members.

Comedian Chonda Pierce brings several moments of unexpected humor to the script, while Nelson Lee, whose credits include the new Hawaii Five-O and Madam Secretary, is pitch perfect as Ye Win, the defacto leader of the the refugees. A war-time leader now turned lay shepherd for his people, he manages their money for them, works extra shifts and breaks down in tears when a mistake behind the wheel nearly destroys everything. And Barry Corbin is type-cast as Forrest, the crusty old farmer who finally comes around to help save the day, but is so well done you can't help but cheer for him.

It's a heart warming, inspirational movie and I highly recommend it. It's well worth your time.

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