Movie Review by Jonathan Hoard – Midnight Clear

| December 2, 2011 | 0 Comments
Midnight Clear Movie Jacket

Midnight Clear Movie Jacket

Without a doubt Christmas is becoming more and more secularized, so much so that some would argue that there never was any spiritual value to the holiday. Many would simply relegate it to the place of a child’s celebration. And yet it seems that no matter how hard we might try to run from the meaning of Christmas it keeps coming back around to us. Lest we think it is merely the calendar performing this work we need only look inside to see that somehow this season has somehow taken hold of our heart. Interestingly, Christmas has a way of causing us to reflect on our lives, what we have done, where we have been, what we have lost and maybe even to ask ourselves, “What is the point?” By no means is any of this reflection a public spectacle. These thoughts and feelings are easily buried under shiny paper and drowned out by the noise of parties. Ironically, many will pass through all the joyful celebrations of Christmas while quietly nursing a broken heart or trying to fill the whole in their soul. Worse than that, is that in the midst of our busy days we will brush past many a life that is barely held together as with clear tape, struggling to mask their broken heart with pretty paper. This is the theme of Midnight Clear.

Midnight Clear is based on a short story by Jerry Jenkins and stars Stephen Baldwin. It is a Christmas movie, but far from the typical holiday film. It tells the story of five individuals whose lives cross paths on Christmas Eve. Each life would appear normal at a distance, however as the story unfolds we see that each character faces struggles that push them near the breaking point. It appears that it is Christmas itself that seems to not only reveal the depth of the sorrow but also compound it. Whether it is a lost love, a dead end job, a broken home or a life ebbing away, every character is forced to reflect on the purpose of their lives. In the journey of self reflection each one finds that though it was Christmas that seemed to bring their pain to the surface it is also Christmas that holds the answer.

This film is certainly much darker than many would be used to in a holiday film but I think you will also find that it will warm your heart as well. The acting is quite a bit better than most independent movies but it’s low budget does show through in some scenes. This is a slow moving drama that will require the viewer to get involved with the characters and identify with them. As we open ourselves up to this film we begin to see into our own hearts and also see a little deeper into the lives of those around us.

At first glance it would seem that Christmas is what we make it. All to often though we see that there is something about Christmas that makes us what we are. As you busy yourself with the giving and receiving of gifts take some time to reflect on the gift given us all at Christmas. I think you’ll find that it is more than the life of a baby but life itself. And remember, we can’t rightly celebrate life given to us while all the while failing to share that life with those who are so thirsty for it.

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