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An Angelic Christmas

MOVIE | Angel-themed family film is clean but misses the mark

Pure Flix

<em>An Angelic Christmas</em>
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➤ Not Rated
➤ Pure Flix

Imagine A Christmas Carol in which Ebenezer Scrooge says ­little, while the ghosts prattle on about their difficult assignment. Or It’s a Wonderful Life where Bedford Falls’ citizens sing “Auld Lang Syne” to celebrate Clarence (“angel, second class”) earning his wings. Pure Flix’s new film An Angelic Christmas has a redemption message in its sights but spends too much of its brief 70-minute runtime off target. And with some wonky theology, there’s not much to commend the film besides its cleanness—no expletives, sensuality, or violence.

Samantha (Alicia Fusting) and her two young daughters, Delainey (Elizabeth Howlett) and Loren (Tori Gideon), face their first Christmas without their late husband and father. In a shop, Delainey finds an angel ornament. An angel named Celest (Karen Abercrombie) emerges from the ornament, appears only to Delainey, and sets out to earn her wings. Celest thinks her ­mission is to help the people of McCattyville recover from a “trauma.” A two-person argument caused a young woman to leave town—that’s the community’s “dark cloud”! They bake cookies and paint rocks with positive messages. No one actually looks glum, except Mrs. McCatty (Tammy Tsai).

Mrs. McCatty’s faith journey should be the story, but, instead, Celest’s mood swings take center stage as she inexpertly interacts with humans. (Abercrombie is the film’s executive producer.) More troubling is the film’s ­theology. It depicts angels and the dead as operating close by, but characters treat God as distant. How backwards. Sure, Frank Capra botched angelology, but faith-film makers should have a greater duty to orthodoxy.

Bob Brown

Bob is a movie reviewer for WORLD. He is a World Journalism Institute graduate and works as a math professor. Bob resides with his wife, Lisa, and five kids in Bel Air, Md.



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