Higher Ground (2011)
Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 86
Fresh: 70 | Rotten: 16
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Average Rating: 7.5/10
Critic Reviews: 31
Fresh: 26 | Rotten: 5
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Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 2,490
Vera Farmiga's directorial debut, Higher Ground, depicts the landscape of a tight-knit spiritual community thrown off-kilter when one of their own begins to question her faith. Inspired by screenwriter Carolyn S. Briggs' memoir, This Dark World, the film tells the story of a thoughtful woman's struggles with belief, love, and trust-in human relationships as well as in God. -- (C) Sony Classics
Aug 26, 2011 Limited
Jan 9, 2012
Sony Pictures Classics - Official Site
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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.
Farmiga's first film is good enough to make us look forward to her next one.
The film is refreshingly free of proselytizing. In its place, however, is a whiff of condescension.
This film might easily have settled for mocking religion. Instead, it's a fascinating glimpse into a culture that forces some people to choose between fitting in and opting out.
At times, these analogies feel forced. But give the rookie filmmaker credit for visual storytelling.
Farmiga challenges herself and the viewer. Some may shrink from that challenge, but thankfully, our gutsy director and star never does
Movies don't often show the religious fervor of characters like these with such earnestness, and Farmiga's layered performance helps the movie through some rough patches.
Above all, Farmiga tells Briggs' story with authenticity, going for small, believable moments instead of big dramatic ones.
A rich, sometimes rewarding, yet deeply flawed work that sometimes gets things so right that it's hard not to forgive it when it doesn't.
What makes 'Higher Ground' fascinating is that it also shows how communities like the one Biggs belonged to can also be appealing.
Vera Farmiga proves herself to be, right out of the box, a terrific director.
This cool, calculated who's-hunting-who piece that brings home all the requisite tension, gunplay and fighting with a great deal of cinematic style.
Farmiga makes an astounding directorial debut in this emotionally-charged film in which doubt brings challenging questions and faith proves to not be the magic elixir in dealing with life's misfortunes.
It lubes its audiences' mental gears and sets them to spinning without insulting anyone and without issuing threats of eternal damnation. Subtlety, thy name is Vera.
A dignified and graceful first-person account of how a belief system is created and sustained, and evolves.
Farmiga has etched something deeply personal and idiosyncratic here: a movie about a character who is simply trying to understand herself and her world -- and that opens up a lot of angst and conflict.
All the performances are totally believable, no-one is satirised, the true faith of the believers is seen in a way as enviable.
Higher Ground is a delicate exploration of faith gained and lost, told through strong acting and graceful direction by Vera Farmiga.
It's repetitious and simply boring for anyone not touched by the holy spirit.
A dense and sensitive exploration of life, love and spiritual enlightenment
Higher Ground grapples with weighty issues in a mature and pensive manner, reinstating a measure of faith in the way Hollywood's disciples are willing to tackle this thorny subject.
Audience Reviews for Higher Ground
- Kathleen Walker: You cannot let sexual chemistry burn out. You cannot!
- Corinne Walker: Come on holy spirit!
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