Movie Monday – The Woodcarver – 9/24/12

Penny Zeller, Christian Author

This week’s Movie Monday suggestion is The Woodcarver.

A couple on the brink of a bitter divorce…

A teenage boy seeking attention, and in the process committing crimes to get that attention…

A lonely widower wondering if he still has a purpose in life after the loss of his beloved wife…

Four people are brought together in this touching and well done film that has been said to resemble the movie The Last Bricklayer. Matthew feels tossed between his parents as they continue with their plans for a divorce. His dad is a workaholic who seems to have little time for his family. His mom, in her anger and frustration, isn’t emotionally available to her son. The only time Matthew sees his parents together is when they’re fighting – many times about him. As an act of seeking attention, Matthew vandalizes the church. After all, isn’t it God’s fault that his parents are seeking a divorce? Isn’t it God’s fault that Matthew feels unloved?

Woodcarver Ernest Otto’s wife recently died of cancer. He struggles with overcoming her death and the life they once shared. Deep in his grief, he finds it difficult to continue without the woman with whom he shared so many years of his life. It doesn’t help that the ornate woodcarving he did for the church many years ago has been destroyed by vandalism.

Before long, Matthew’s and Ernest’s lives intersect. Together, they set out to repair the damage done by Matthew, and Ernest provides the fatherly role model for Matthew that he has long yearned for. In the process, Ernest teaches Matthew something very important. What if, in every dealing that we have with others, we ask ourselves the question, “What would Jesus do?” This simple, yet profound question changes Matthew’s outlook and perspective.

What happens when Matthew’s dad discovers Matthew has been spending time with the elderly woodcarver? What happens when a fire destroys the hard work Matthew and Ernest have accomplished? Is it possible that God has plans for us even when we think our lives are lacking purpose? Is forgiveness possible, even in difficult situations?

This is a great family film that approaches the topic of treating others as Jesus would treat them and becoming more and more Christlike in our everyday dealings with others.  It also focuses on forgiveness, grace, and the importance of marriage. I have seen The Last Bricklayer, and I enjoyed that movie very much – and yes, this movie is similar. However, The Woodcarver adds elements of faith-based answers to life’s problems.

This movie had no objectionable material, with the exception of an utterance of the Lord’s name in vain. As I have mentioned before, in my opinion, this never adds to a movie, only detracts from it. Little ones may be frightened by the brief vandalism scene and a brief fire scene (these are both tastefully done). Aside from that, this is a heartwarming film with an excellent message that I would recommend for families with children over the age of 5.

I am passionate about finding movies suitable for families. For a complete listing of family movie suggestions and an archive of past reviews from a Christian worldview for Movie Monday, please go to my Mom-Approved Movies Page.

Join me each Monday for a new movie review. Until then, have a blessed week!

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