I Heard The Bells Movie Review (Christmas)

I Heard The Bells Movie Review (Christmas)

Movie Review I Heard The Bells For Parents

I Heard The Bells Movie Review (Christmas)
I Heard The Bells Movie Review (Christmas)

I Heard The Bells Movie Review narrates the heartwarming and factual tale that lies beneath the cherished Christmas carol and its creator, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Henry, renowned as America’s Poet, enjoys a tranquil existence until his world is abruptly shattered by a devastating tragedy.

In a nation torn apart by the Civil War and a family in disarray, Henry lays aside his writing, silenced by the weight of grief.

Yet, it’s the melodies of Christmas morning that reawaken the poet’s dormant voice, revealing the enduring optimism of renewed faith.

Genre: Drama, Holiday
Original Language: English
Director: Joshua Enck
Producer: Joshua Enck
Writer: Joshua Enck, Jeff Bender
Release Date (Theaters): Dec 1, 2022 Limited
Runtime: 1h 50m
Distributor: Fathom Events
Production Co: Sight & Sound Films


Stephen Atherholt
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Jonathan Blair
Charley Longfellow

Rachel Day Hughes
Fanny Longfellow

Joshua Enck

Joshua Enck

Jeff Bender

Joshua Enck

Steve Buckwalter

Jordan Graff
Film Editing

Chad Marriott
Original Music

Karen Harper
Production Design

I Heard The Bells Movie Complete Review

I Heard The Bells Movie Review (Christmas)
I Heard The Bells Movie Review (Christmas)

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, portrayed by Stephen Atherholt, stands as America’s most beloved poet, despite vowing never to write again.

The accumulation of successive personal losses has left him emotionally drained, making it impossible for him to muster the energy or creativity to put pen to paper.

The breaking point occurs when his eldest son, Charlie (played by Jonathan Blair), enlists in the Union Army without his father’s consent.

Charlie departs for war, expressing his disillusionment with a seemingly indifferent or absent God to his father.

Longfellow, grappling with his own shaken faith, goes to great lengths to keep his son away from the Civil War’s front lines, anxiously awaiting the feared knock on his door.

As the poet descends into a dark night of the soul, it appears improbable that he will ever find the inspiration to write again.

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So, how does this wounded and grieving man ultimately become the author of the beloved Christmas carol, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”?

I must acknowledge my personal bias from the outset: I have always cherished this Christmas carol, and I was eager to watch a film that delves into the events that inspired it.

Perhaps my expectations were too lofty. While this is not a terrible film, it falls short of what it could have been.

Longfellow’s life is a captivating tale, filled with drama and profound emotional suffering. His famous lyrics clearly reflect a faith rebuilt from profound anguish.

The movie manages to capture this emotional and spiritual transformation to some extent. Nonetheless, depicting the transformation of a man’s soul is a formidable task, and it seems beyond the capabilities of director Joshua Enck.

I don’t fault him for attempting, even though it proves challenging. As another 19th-century poet once said, “A man’s reach must exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?”

What doesn’t quite work in this movie? Its most significant flaw lies in the first act, which feels somewhat theatrical.

I heard the bells
I Heard The Bells Movie Review (Christmas)

At times, it seems as if the actors are reciting lines rather than engaging in authentic conversations. In its weakest moments, the film gives off a community theater vibe, albeit a good one. Most distracting of all is Longfellow’s wig, which is difficult to describe in its utter lack of realism.

Its appearance occasionally resembles that of Karl Marx, a look surely unintended by the wardrobe department.

The rest of the film’s visuals are commendable, but it would have been beneficial for the production team to invest in a better wig for the lead actor.

On the flip side, this movie offers numerous merits for family audiences, particularly Christian viewers. Negative content is minimal, with just enough violence to maintain historical accuracy and drive the narrative forward.

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The film portrays a loving and resilient family while honestly addressing the challenges of maintaining faith in a world marred by suffering and anguish.

It serves as a resounding proclamation from the inner battles of a man’s soul, bearing witness to how renewed faith in God can dispel the darkness of grief and isolation.

This message remains timeless, and as Christmas 2022 approaches in a world marked by war, famine, and disease, the reminder that “The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, With peace on earth, good will to men” is as relevant as it was in 1863.

I Heard The Bells Movie Review (Christmas)

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