Inspirational Christian film Woodlawn is scoring big with both critics and audiences.
Breaking Christian News reports that the film received an A plus rating from Cinemascore, a leading source for audience opinion in the film industry for over 35 years. The film also took in an estimated $4 million in its opening weekend at the box office.
Woodlawn tells the story of the Woodlawn High School football team in Birmingham, Alabama as the team struggles with the racial tensions in the era of desegregation.
The team appears unable to overcome the racial tensions they face, both inwardly and outwardly, until a man named Hank (played by Sean Astin) speaks to them about the hope and love found in Jesus. The film then chronicles the team’s transformation to following Christ and striving for unity rather than division.
The film was directed by Jon and Andy Erwin, produced by Kevin Downes, with couple Roma Downey and Mark Burnett as executive producers.
"Clearly Woodlawn got this extraordinary rating because it's an A+ film," Downey and Burnett said. "Woodlawn takes the audience on a sweeping journey, which is both exciting and emotional. The Erwin Brothers made an incredible film, and people are loving it. We are very encouraged."
The film is garnering praise from both critics and moviegoers. Film review website Rottentomatoes.com shows that 91 percent of critics and 92 percent of moviegoers gave Woodlawn a thumbs up.
Jackie K. Cooper of the Huffington Post stated, “Woodlawn scores big” and “revs up the chill factor, and sends you out of the theater resolved to be a better person.”
The film is also being praised for its storytelling skill and its attention to the details of the 1970’s time period in which it is set.
"[I]t's impossible not to recognize the skill and power of the way the filmmakers tell their story,” stated James Ward of Gannett News Service.
Producer Kevin Downes said everyone involved in the film is excited about the positive reception it is getting. "You always hope audiences are entertained and moved by the films you make. We couldn't be happier at the response Woodlawn has received."
Publication date: October 26, 2015
Veronica Neffinger wrote her first poem at age seven and went on to study English in college, focusing on 18th century literature. When she is not listening to baseball games, enjoying the outdoors, or reading, she can be found mostly in Richmond, VA writing primarily about nature, nostalgia, faith, family, and Jane Austen.