Synopsis: In this video or blog, I go in detail of several topics that I saw in this movie and this movie is a modern retelling of Christmas Carol. I use an event that happened in my life to help you understand what happened to Chris and how that tragic event broke him. If you want to know more, then you want to watch this video or read this blog.
Hello everyone, Matthew Hemenway is here. In this video, I will be reviewing and analyzing a movie called By God’s Grace which came out in 2014. I first saw this movie on my Amazon Prime membership, but it later went to IMBD TV. I personally would just pay the $4.99 to get the HD version of this movie just not to have to watch the ads and you end up owning this movie. This movie is a modern retelling of Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol. It starts off with Grace Taylor who is the narrator of this story and played by Savannah McReynolds and she tells us she loves her big brother Chris who is played by Cameron Deane Stewart, but she says he has an attitude problem. I will go over several topics that I saw in this movie.
Chris loses his family to a tragedy which is that they are killed by a drunk driver. They all die as a result and this event ends up breaking Chris. Chris loses his heart, and he believes that all that matters is work. He buries himself into work that he suddenly believes everyone should work even on Christmas Eve like Ebenezer Scrooge did. Chris is having his employees work late when they should be off or get off early if they are not off.
Chris tells Bill, last time that I checked Christmas Eve is not a holiday. Grace tells us that Chris thinks he has life figured out, but he has a lot to learn, and she has great plans for him. Her plans are to get his heart back and help him to realize there is more to life than getting up and going to work. We all can be sucked up in the mundane of life that we forget what is important.
Chris is focused on this deal with Trinity that he fires his best employee which is his father’s best friend Bill and is the Vice President of Century Air. He is afraid he will lose the deal to Pacific West Air and that it will be costly. The man that runs Trinity asks him; do you think your father would be proud? This is a lot to ponder to say the least.
Before that, Chris had been with Samantha Tipton, his best friend since they were small. Samantha is asking for help for the Youth shelter and telling him the Youth home would be foreclosed if he does not help. Chris tells her he only invests in things that have a monetary return. Samantha tells him that there would be a return if someone believes in these kids.
Grace is Jacob Marley, Ghost of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Future wrapped up into one. There is also dramatic irony with Grace’s name, she ends up being Grace to Chris in this story. If you want to know, dramatic irony is a particularly effective way to tell a story. She tells Chris that he has several chances to get it right, but he always finds a way to do it wrong. She tells him; I am here to save you. As we all know, Chris claims he does not need to be saved. She tells him; you are wrong, but you are.
This story uses the same storytelling style as Christmas Carol. They travel back to his past when he was a kid. It takes us to Chris’ past and shows us with his best friend Samantha Tipton and shows before the tragedy of his family being killed by a Drunk Driver, he was a good person. There are breaking points in our life that do determine what defines us.
I will give you an example, I went through a horrible accident where I was T-Boned in 2005 and carried guilt because my brother was inches away from being killed, and like Chris, it broke me, and I felt broken. I am sure there are those out there who would say, I should let it go. It is not that easy, physical pain is a lot easier to heal from than emotional or spiritual pain. Chris ends up being emotionally and spiritually scarred after he loses his family to the tragedy of being killed by a drunk driver. I can emphasize Chris as I have been there myself.
After the event of losing his family to the drunk driver, it was easier to push everyone that he cared about and those that cared about him. He pushes Samantha, Diane, and anyone else he can out of his life. He would claim he was protecting himself from getting hurt. He thought he should have been in the car with his family. Grace tells him there was nothing you could have done. It was God’s plan. He later tells Grace, “To ruin his life. What loving God would do something this horrible of having his family getting killed by a drunk driver?
We go back to the present and see everything that happens. Chris sees that he hurt Samantha Tipton, his best friend since childhood. The Youth Shelter is not doing well as foreclosure looms around the corner. The kids could be on the street.
We go to the future and everything bad that could have happened has happened. The Youth Shelter is closed, and everyone is having to scrape by with jobs they can find. One of the kids ends up with a foster Dad that is abusive. One of the kids gets the other kid out of that situation of the abusive father and they end up on the street. Chris tells us; this never should have happened. Grace tells him and us, it is like what Mom said, our actions have consequences whether intentional or accidental.
I will now go back to John Eldredge who I mentioned in one of my reviews in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? What happened to Chris is that he got wounded and this wound ended up destroying and defining his life. We all have events in our lives that can define us or not. It is up to us to decide what to do with it. Easier said than done. I believe with God’s help, we can.
Do you think Chris redeems or not? Does Grace end up saving him? Does Chris end up with Samantha his best friend since childhood? Does the Youth Shelter get saved or not? These are questions that I will leave you with.
I give this movie a 9 out 10. I thought it was well done and I can tell you this from a personal level, I can relate to Chris and his pain. I also liked that it uses the same storytelling style of Christmas Carol and shows how pain can break us to how we decide to let it define our lives.
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Music: Sonic Pogo – Vans in Japan from YouTube’s Audio Library
By God’s Grace picture: http://www.liveatthearmory.com/calendar-of-events/2014/11/16/by-gods-grace
Reference: John Eldredge Author page on Amazon: https://smile.amazon.com/John-Eldredge/e/B0027ICQ28?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_5&qid=1636388008&sr=8-5
Reference: A Christmas Carol (1984): https://smile.amazon.com/Christmas-Carol-George-C-Scott/dp/B009EEG51G/ref=sr_1_2?crid=1XHWOIXG8MIAE&keywords=a+christmas+carol&qid=1638893834&s=instant-video&sprefix=a+christmas+carol%2Caps%2C224&sr=1-2
Reference: A Christmas Carol and other stories: https://smile.amazon.com/Christmas-Carol-Other-Stories-ebook/dp/B005N1OTRQ/ref=sr_1_11?crid=2AQITUWVEUCXX&keywords=a+christmas+carol+book&qid=1638893901&sprefix=a+chr%2Caps%2C155&sr=8-11