- buy from $11.99
Moving drama about faith and doubt dares to be smart.
what parents need to know
what families can talk about
Tomatometer®reviews counted: 20see all Higher Ground reviews
Top Critic Reviews
Fresh: The crucial thing about Higher Ground is that it takes at face value the faces, many bearded, almost all beatific, that the camera surveys -- quite an achievement, given Hollywood's woeful record in the dramatizing of faith.
- Anthony Lane, New Yorker, Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Fresh: This film might easily have settled for mocking religion. Instead, it's a fascinating glimpse into a culture that forces some people to choose between fitting in and opting out.
- Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Friday, September 16, 2011
Fresh: At times, these analogies feel forced. But give the rookie filmmaker credit for visual storytelling.
- Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer, Thursday, September 15, 2011
Faith and Feminism: The Movie. That's a pretty good way to describe this, the directorial debut of its star Vera Farmiga. It's loosely based on some novelist's memoirs, and it follows a woman named Corrine who has spent the vast majority of her life immersed in a tightly-knit community of Fundamentalist Christians. Her life with them has been fine, but the older she grows, thew more her closeness to them begins to fracture. She starts to have a crisis of faith, and her task of trying to be simultaneously holy and worldly really takes a toll on her and those around her. This is an emotional, challenging, and thoughtful film, and Expected it to be no less than this given it's and indie, and someone like Farmiga is at the helm. She's a great actress, an intellectual feminist, and very sensitive when it comes to shedding light on the particular subjects the film deals with, namely, how to be a good faithful Fundamentalist, yet also be a believer in feminism. Besides herself, Farmiga acts alongside a crack cast that includes reliable supporters like John Hawkes, Joshua Leonard, Norbert Leo Butz, and Dagmara Dominczyk among others. All of the performances are quite good, and you can see that this was really an earnest labor of love for them. Movies like Saved! had previously tackled this kind of subject matter, but I found this treatment to be quite fresh and absorbing. As someone who has personally had his faith tested, I felt I could relate to this film to some degree, but I really don't know how an atheist or some other type of person would react to this. As such, maybe it's best to just treat this as primarily a character study instead of a specific treatise or something. The music is good, the camera work is decent, and the film is actually about something important, yet is also entertaining. As such, this is definitely one I recommend. I also hope to see more directorial work from Farmiga in the future, because, even though I love her acting, she really shows a lot of promise behind the camera, too.
- cosmo313, Thursday, November 1, 2012
Poignant thought-provoking moments strung together in an overall poorly-structured piece. I really wanted to like this movie since there was a lot of material that I felt I could be personally connected with. However, I don't feel like I got to know anybody in the film. Especially the supporting character. Some many "special" relationships felt surprisingly empty due to the lack of depth that the supporting characters are given. It is an interesting first film and one that had a lot of really good ideas. Sadly though, they werent fleshed out as well as I would have wanted and it was hard to get really immersed in the film.
- axadntpron, Friday, January 13, 2012
Huge believability (no double entendre intended) factor in this movie. It managed an insiders look at a closed religious community without becoming either preachy or dismissing the faith of those involved. It's just the story of one woman's trying and failing to feel the affect of pure belief. Nicely told. Ambiguous ending was just the right tone, because matters of faith and what community you chose to belong to are not matters that get settled in two hours or even, sometimes, a life-time.
- bathshebamonk, Thursday, October 27, 2011