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Does God Still Raise the Dead Today? Exploring New Faith Film ‘Breakthrough’

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Joyce and John’s story is captivatingly brought to life in the new faith-film "Breakthrough," but it does more than just entertain. It inspires and gives hope to anyone watching who might be waiting and praying for their own breakthrough.


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Have you ever wondered if miracles are possible? Does God listen when we call out to Him? Will He reach down and move on our behalf? Breakthrough, produced by DeVon Franklin (Miracles from Heaven) and starring Chrissy Metz (This is Us) answers those questions with a resounding “yes.” He will and does, and powerfully so.

RELATED CONTENT: The Religious Experience of New Faith Film ‘Breakthrough’

The film, is based on the true story of the Smith family and adapted from mother Joyce’s own book originally titled The Impossible. Joyce (Metz), her husband Brian (Josh Lucas) and their adopted son John have a typical American family life busy with work, school, sports and church on repeat, until a split-second error in judgment brings their world to a screeching halt. John falls through the ice of a frozen lake and by the time he is rushed to the hospital there are no signs of life. Altogether, he went a staggering 45 minutes without a pulse, until the miraculous happens. Enter his mother Joyce, a force of nature and full of faith. She is a game changer. What happens next is medically documented and it is not just one miracle, but a string of miracles. Everyone involved in John’s story from the first responders to the Doctors are left in awe. Because it is clearly supernatural and it is clearly God.    

Breakthrough

Image courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Used By Permission.

Chrissy Metz will completely blow you away with her depiction of Joyce’s journey from panic to grief to triumph and every moment in between. This, of course, will be no surprise for those who watch her show This is Us, for which she has been nominated for two Golden Globes. But Metz doesn’t just carry those pivotal moments, she straight up catapults them like a Crossfit junkie flinging a kettlebell. Her nuanced portrayal holds the story together and makes it very real. When hope seems to be at a low point and she cries out to God as a mother facing an inexpressible loss, it’s like a punch in the gut. You will feel things. Director Roxann Dawson who has previously worked with Metz on This is Us, says of her, “She is one of the bravest actors I’ve ever worked with. It’s very difficult to do what she did and to go to those places…She’s just such an amazing talent.”

Breakthrough

Joyce (Metz), her husband Brian (Josh Lucas) and their adopted son John. Image courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Used By Permission.

A theme of Breakthrough that will leave you inspired is its depiction of the power of community. From the first responders, to the hospital staff, to Pastor Jason (convincingly played by Topher Grace), the Smiths have all the love and support their small Missouri town can give. There is a scene near the end of the film that movingly brings this to life. Pastor Jason begins to highlight all the people who have been praying for John’s recovery and it becomes clear just how surrounded John has been from day one. 

By the end of the film it’s apparent the title Breakthrough carries multiple meanings. In one sense, there is a literal breaking as John falls through the splitting ice. But there is also a much more profound “breakthrough” occurring; a spiritual one as Joyce reaches out to a loving God and He reaches back. Audience’s get to see the power of love and faith make the impossible suddenly possible as heaven touches earth. Joyce and John’s story is captivatingly brought to life, but it does more than just entertain. It inspires and gives hope to anyone watching who might be waiting and praying for their own “breakthrough.”