Higher Ground (2011)
Watch it now
as Corinne Walker
as Ethan Miller
as Pastor Bill
as Young Corinne Walker
as Kathleen Walker
as CW Walker
as Young Wendy Walker
as Mrs. Tuttle
as Pastor Bud
as Teenage Corinne Walk...
as Teenage Wendy Walker
as Teenage Ethan Miller
as Biology Teacher
as Younger Abigail Mill...
as Younger Lily Miller
as Dr. Frank Barnes
as Wendy Walker
as Older Abigail Miller
as Older Lily Miller
as Gabe Miller
as 7-Year-Old Boy
as Man in Counseling Of...
as Woman in Counseling ...
as Dr. Adams
as Liam's Wife
as Pawn Shop Worker
News & Interviews for Higher Ground
Critic Reviews for Higher Ground
Vera Farmiga makes a heavenly debut as a director with Higher Ground, a compelling drama about a woman's spiritual journey.
The film's quiet realism demands from us our own act of faith: We're asked to watch closely and to listen intently in the promise of a greater reward to come. Well, the promise is partly kept.
The picture never settles for easy answers, and these warmly-drawn characters are granted a surprising complexity.
Farmiga challenges herself and the viewer. Some may shrink from that challenge, but thankfully, our gutsy director and star never does
Audience Reviews for Higher Ground
An intriguing, if ultimately unsuccessful take on religion and how one woman (Vera Farmiga) begins to struggle with her faith while living within a somewhat cultish group of people. Farmiga shows she is a capable director, and her performance is outstanding, but ultimately the movie feels too simple, like she is settling instead of going all-in and taking real risks. In the end, the film benefits from its character development and remains interesting even if it is slowly paced, but ultimately it is just an average offering on the topic of religion that is not too memorable. Far from bad, but skipable.
Faith and Feminism: The Movie.
That's a pretty good way to describe this, the directorial debut of its star Vera Farmiga. It's loosely based on some novelist's memoirs, and it follows a woman named Corrine who has spent the vast majority of her life immersed in a tightly-knit community of Fundamentalist Christians. Her life with them has been fine, but the older she grows, thew more her closeness to them begins to fracture. She starts to have a crisis of faith, and her task of trying to be simultaneously holy and worldly really takes a toll on her and those around her.
This is an emotional, challenging, and thoughtful film, and Expected it to be no less than this given it's and indie, and someone like Farmiga is at the helm. She's a great actress, an intellectual feminist, and very sensitive when it comes to shedding light on the particular subjects the film deals with, namely, how to be a good faithful Fundamentalist, yet also be a believer in feminism.
Besides herself, Farmiga acts alongside a crack cast that includes reliable supporters like John Hawkes, Joshua Leonard, Norbert Leo Butz, and Dagmara Dominczyk among others. All of the performances are quite good, and you can see that this was really an earnest labor of love for them.
Movies like Saved! had previously tackled this kind of subject matter, but I found this treatment to be quite fresh and absorbing. As someone who has personally had his faith tested, I felt I could relate to this film to some degree, but I really don't know how an atheist or some other type of person would react to this. As such, maybe it's best to just treat this as primarily a character study instead of a specific treatise or something.
The music is good, the camera work is decent, and the film is actually about something important, yet is also entertaining. As such, this is definitely one I recommend. I also hope to see more directorial work from Farmiga in the future, because, even though I love her acting, she really shows a lot of promise behind the camera, too.
Poignant thought-provoking moments strung together in an overall poorly-structured piece. I really wanted to like this movie since there was a lot of material that I felt I could be personally connected with. However, I don't feel like I got to know anybody in the film. Especially the supporting character. Some many "special" relationships felt surprisingly empty due to the lack of depth that the supporting characters are given.
It is an interesting first film and one that had a lot of really good ideas. Sadly though, they werent fleshed out as well as I would have wanted and it was hard to get really immersed in the film.
Higher Ground Quotes
Discuss Higher Ground on our Movie forum!