“Heaven Is for Real” is based on a best-selling book of the same title about the true life experiences of minister in the small town of Imperial, Nebraska, although the entire movie was actually made in Warren, Manitoba, Canada. Many U.S. film companies like to shot in Canada because it is less expensive and has many locales, both urban and rural, that easily pass for American locations. On its opening weekend, “Heaven Is for Real” finished 2nd at the box office with a healthy total of $22.5 million, right behind mega-movie “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” with $25.6 million. However, “Heaven Is for Real” was number one last weekend based on per screen averages with $9,318. For all of last weekend’s box office totals, click on the link below.
One of the things that makes “Heaven Is for Real” work is a child actor, Connor Corum, who is wonderfully credible playing the little boy at the center of the story, Colton Burpo. In fact, all the primary performers in this motion picture bear a strong resemblance to the individuals they are playing, which you will discover at the end of the movie when their pictures are shown.
Greg Kinnear plays Todd Burpo, the little boy’s father, He works for a garage door company, is a volunteer firefighter and pastor of a local Christian Church. When their little boy needs emergency surgery and nearly dies during the operation, it’s a tough time for the Burpo family. But the child survives and comes home recounting experiences he had in “heaven,” and also things he observed of and about his family he simply could not have seen or known about while he was in the hospital.
Kelly Reilly plays opposite Kinnear as Mrs. Burpo. Together they do a credible job of portraying a young couple with a world full of challenges, not the least of which is to their religious beliefs. The supporting cast is excellent, especially Thomas Haden Church playing a local banker. “Heaven Is for Real” is a story that tackles an important question we all think about. The film stays close to the book. If you liked the book, you have to see the movie. It’s all about faith, something that is sometimes difficult to have, but this movie demonstrates why it’s an important to try.