11 October 2017

I Can Only Imagine

This week I previewed the movie I CAN ONLY IMAGINE. The hit song "I Can Only Imagine" by MercyMe was inspired by events in the movie. Lead singer Bart Millard wrote the song after finally having a positive relationship with his father. Growing up Bart lived with his father after his mother left, and he was miserable.

In the movie Dennis Quaid plays Bart's father Arthur. Bart is played by J. Michael Finley. Both performances are excellent. Unfortunately, this father-son relationship is dysfunctional. The father is always angry. Bart and his grandmother (played by Cloris Leachman), affectionately called Memaw, just assume it is because his life did not go the way he wanted. He takes that disappointment out on Bart. Bart desperately wants his father's attention so in high school he plays football. This works out great until Bart is injured and can no longer play the sport. This is how Bart discovers music; he is enrolled in the school choir class as a helper, but the choir director, Mrs. Fincher (played by Priscilla C. Shirer), hears him singing one day and insists he start singing with the choir. After graduating from high school, Bart pursues a music career and forms the band MercyMe, leaving behind his father, Memaw, and girlfriend Shannon (played by Madeline Carroll).

Trace Adkins plays Brickell, who becomes the band's manager. He introduces Bart to Michael W. Smith (Jake B. Miller) and Amy Grant (Nicole DuPort). Brickell is the one who encourages Bart to dig deep into his soul so he can write a hit song. At the same time, Bart learns his father has cancer so he spends more time with him, and the two develop the relationship Bart always wanted. After his father dies, Bart writes the song "I Can Only Imagine."

I CAN ONLY IMAGINE will be in theatres March 16, 2018. The official Web site is http://icanonlyimagine.com/.


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