ARTS + ENTERTAINMENT

KSL Movie Show review: ‘Ordinary Angels’ is a feel-good movie worth watching

Feb 22, 2024, 3:00 PM | Updated: Feb 24, 2024, 8:54 am

steve salles next to a poster for ordinary angels...

SALT LAKE CITY — Honestly, I was a bit nervous about this film.

My fear was that a director best known for deep Christian faith movies would not be able to resist the temptation to proselyte for the cause and then overdramatize the already extraordinary circumstances surrounding this story.

I am happy to report that he does neither. But you’ll be hard-pressed to believe all the amazing things that take place in this movie, despite reassurances that it’s not overcooked.

Even the star of the film Alan Ritchson of “Reacher” fame said he laughed when he got to the unbelievable parts — they’re real– and cried the rest of the time.

And note to self: bring tissues or wear long sleeves (gross). You might need both. I saw Jack Reacher cry.

And then I cried.

One of the ‘Ordinary Angels’

Here’s the story.

A local small-town Kentucky newspaper headline read: “5-Year-Old Girl Loses Mother, In Fight For Her Own Life.”

A hairdresser Sharon Stevens, played by two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank, sees the article and it touches her heart.

She had recently been to an AA meeting, where someone suggested that doing a greater good for someone else might be a way to kick her heavy drinking habit. She decides helping this family is something she just has to do.

And as we get to know Sharon, when she puts her mind and effort into something, she’s not likely to take no for an answer.

Michelle Schmitt, played by Emily Mitchell, has Biliary Atresia. It’s a congenital condition that causes jaundice and liver damage in small children.

Her bile ducts are blocked. She will need a liver transplant. That will be very expensive. Poor Ed Schmitt, played by Ritchson, is still reeling from the medical costs of his wife’s passing. His construction/roofing business will not be able to sustain this kind of debt.

In swoops in Sharon, like a hurricane.

Working hard to help the Schmitt family

She first raises money by donating a day’s worth of haircutting. But after seeing just how much Ed is in arrears, she goes to much greater lengths in hopes of getting these debts reduced.

Keep in mind, that Ed is a proud man and having this bulldozer of a woman in the middle of his business is very unsettling, but he swallows his pride and remembers Sharon does not take no for an answer.

She is relentless and what she manages to accomplish would have been story enough, but as young Michelle continues to wait for word of a possible donor, the logistics of getting her to Omaha, 700 miles away in such a short time, means she’ll need a private plane to transport her. Sharon promises she will make that happen too.

To go any further at this point would be an injustice to this incredible story. Just know that what you’re about to see from here on out, actually happened. And what you’ll come away with is a sense of how regular folks can come together in a moment of crisis to help someone they’ve never even met.

So, if you’re in the mood for quite possibly “the feel-good movie of the year,” I suggest you take the time to see “Ordinary Angels” in theaters beginning this weekend. I guarantee you’ll be glad you did.

ORDINARY ANGELS B+ Rated PG for thematic content, brief bloody images and smoking. Starring Hilary Swank, Alan Ritchson, Nancy Travis, Tamala Jones, Skywalker Hughes and Emily Mitchell. Directed by Jon Gunn (“The Case for Christ” “Do You Believe?”) – filmed in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Running time: 117 minutes.

The KSL Movie Show with Andy Farnsworth and Steve Salles airs Fridays on KSL NewsRadio from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Follow the show on Facebook, and join The KSL Movie Show Club for exclusive perks by texting MOVIE to 57500.

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KSL Movie Show review: ‘Ordinary Angels’ is a feel-good movie worth watching