Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Singing With Angels Movie Review

Last week I mentioned how cool it was that I got to go to the VIP screening of Singing With Angels. All I'd heard about the show was that it was about the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, but honestly, it was so much more than that. It was a show about family, about reaching for your dreams, and about the love you find when you need it the most. I wasn't lying when I said I cried about five times. It was entertaining, but is also a show that will pull at your heartstrings and stay with you long after you've left the theater.

We start out with a baby who isn't thriving and whose parents are told she might not live. Her older brother begs to see her and the parents finally relent. He sings to her and a miracle occurs---she lives. Cue our introduction to our heroine Aubrey Larson. Aubrey is married with two children and she has a dream to join the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. She's tried once before, but the audition process was so vigorous she didn't make it. This time, she is determined and driven to follow her dream.  I enjoyed seeing behind the scenes of the audition process for the choir (and I know now I would never be able to get in!), but I am glad that wasn't the main focus of the movie. I loved that it was a personal look into Aubrey's life and how she dealt with her disappointments and yet still kept trying.

When I interviewed the screenwriter, Brittany Wiscombe, I asked her what her first thoughts were when she started on this project. She said originally they'd thought the film would be more focused on the audition process, but after a lot of thought and conversations with the director, Brian Brough, they realized they had to change it. They asked for choir members to submit events from their own lives where the choir had touched them in some way and then decided to work those events into a narrative of one woman's life. By making this about Aubrey, and having it be inspired by true events, the filmmakers were able to really draw the audience in emotionally and connect with them in a way that goes far beyond the audition process. Definitely a good call on their parts.

Aubrey faces a lot of trials and yet the film also documents her triumphs, both in her personal life and during her journey with the choir. I thought the actors did a great job with the twists and turns and there was one in particular near the end of the movie that I wasn't expecting. It gets you in all the feels, I'll tell you that.  I was thoroughly entertained, uplifted and invested in these characters. It's definitely a perspective-changer and whatever you think you know about the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, well, this movie will make you see it in a different light.

I do have to give a shout-out to Michelle Moore. She is an amazing person and publicist and makes my job so much easier. It's a joy to work with her. If you ever need a publicist, she's your woman!

Here's me with the star of the show, Sarah Kent. She was incredibly nice and did a fantastic job in the movie. So believable!

The filmmakers had unprecedented access to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and it showed. The attention to detail was phenomenal and I know the LDS church will be proud of its portrayal. Elder D. Todd Christofferson was at the screening and sitting about four rows behind me. I was trying to take secret selfies with him, but none of them turned out that great. Thankfully, I was able to chat with him after the show. Here we are!

I also got a few pictures of the cast on the red carpet. Here's one of them:

And here's one of me:


I just want to thank the cast and the screenwriter for taking the time to talk to me and be a part of their opening. It was a great night for an inspiring film that you don't want to miss.

You can see the official website for the movie and the trailer here


Melanie Valderrama said...

Great review! I wish I had been able to attend in person so I could have hung out with you! Maybe next time...

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

I would love to meet you in person! Next time for sure!