Published On: Thu, Mar 15th, 2018

Dennis Quaid shines as the ‘I Can Only Imagine’ true story comes to theaters

The age of faith-based films continues with I Can Only Imagine, the latest from Woodlawn directors Andrew and Jon Erwin, telling the true story behind the hit song, Bart Millard’s life and inspiration for the titular #1 selling Christian song of all time.

I Can Only Imagine follows MercyMe’s lead singer, Bart Millard (J. Michael Finley), and his relationship with his father (Dennis Quaid) through the exit of his mother, years of child abuse and emotional pain.

Millard can be heard describing his dad, played by Dennis Quaid, as “a monster” before detailing the transformation of salvation later in life.

The young Bart (Brody Rose) winces in anticipation of a beating from his dad, faking that he’s asleep to avoid the use of the belt. As Bart grows, begins excelling at football (like his Pops) but gets injured and finds a bizarre talent for singing. Putting together a band, leaving the angry father behind and continuing to disappoint his love interest are the threads of Bart’s tumultuous life.

Check out the trailer below.

While the band struggled to find footing, it was I Can Only Imagine which put them on the map and gave Millard a new voice to the world: “I think the biggest thing is, there’s no agenda: We’re not trying to shove the Bible down anybody’s throats. I’m asking the same question many people have wondered, whether you go to church or not, like, ‘OK, God, if this turns out to be real, if we die and we get (to heaven), how am I going to respond?’ There’s no answers in that song, it’s all questions.”

The Erwins learned from Woodlawn and leaned on Quaid to carry some power scenes and portray a transformation authentically. Their previous films need more of the veteran actors to deliver big, strong, Oscar caliber moments and Quaid has that.

In fact, Millard writes in his book (by the same name) about the experience on set, watching Quaid’s emotional rollercoaster and being moved through a whole new series of emotions.

I Can Only Imagine is driven by Quaid’s performance as the abusive dad becomes the feeble cancer inflicted man, a motivation which feeds the passions of a young musician and the result is the biggest Christian song ever. The Erwins balance this equation perfectly and the result will appeal to the masses much like the MercyMe song does.

The other performances are top notch. Finley pulls off Millard, Trace Adkins, like he did for the Erwins in Moms’ Night Out, steals every scene as record exec Scott Brickell and Nicole DuPort pulls off Amy Grant with grace and kindness. And yes, that’s the famous Cloris Leachman as Memaw.

I Can Only Imagine will speak beyond the choir if audiences will give it a chance, earning 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Website: http://icanonlyimagine.com/


Twitter: @onlyimaginefilm


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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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