I was provided with advanced screening tickets to this film to facilitate this review. All opinions below are my own.
Breakthrough is based on the inspiring true story of one mother’s unfaltering love in the face of impossible odds. When Joyce Smith’s adopted son John falls through the ice on a Missouri lake, all hope seems lost. John is submerged under the icy water for 15 minutes. As John lies lifeless, Joyce refuses to give up. Her steadfast belief inspires those around her to continue to pray for John’s recovery, even in the face of every case history and scientific prediction. Breakthrough is an enthralling reminder that faith and love can create a mountain of hope, and even for the fortunate a miracle. Chrissy Metz truly gives a impressive and moving performance.
This movie creates a completely realistic view of raising a teen. The harder we try to hold on to the idea of the child they are no longer, the harder they fight for independence and freedom. John was raised by loving parents and knew better than to be on a frozen lake, ignoring his mother’s calls, taking selfies. Joyce gets the call that is every parents worst nightmare. In the hospital the scene where she initially sees John after his accident absolutely gutted me. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the entire theatre so bring Kleenex! Science and medicine took John’s care as far as it could. Joyce’s faith stepped up and gave Joyce a purpose when there is really nothing else as a parent that you can do. This film is a beautiful reminder that we all need a community or church to lean on. We are not in it alone. I thought that it was really compassionate that no matter what she didn’t get angry at her son’s friends who made the bad decision with him, the mother who’s care John was left in or her husband who’s fear made it hard to be an equal supporter. I think in tough times we truly learn who is really on our side and while this would not be the situation you would want to find yourself in, Joyce realized that she had many more people on her side that she could have ever hoped or prayed for.
My only minor issues with this movie:
- The pastor refers to John’s basketball playing as “lit” which I don’t think was a thing in 2015.
- The characters wear t-shirts and thin layers outdoors in Missouri in February.
Breakthrough is in theatres April 17th, 2019.