Unveiling the Extraordinary: A Deep Dive into “Ordinary Angels”

In the tapestry of cinema, some stories transcend the screen, weaving tales of resilience, empathy, and the extraordinary found within the ordinary. “Ordinary Angels,” directed by Jon Gunn, is one such tapestry, skillfully crafted to evoke emotion without drowning in sentimentality. In this article, we delve into the intricacies of the film, exploring its narrative nuances, exceptional performances, and the visual artistry that propels it beyond the realm of average inspirational fluff.

Sharon’s Journey: A Dance with Demons

Sharon, portrayed by the brilliant Hilary Swank, emerges as the heartbeat of the narrative. Her journey from a messy, sorrow-laden existence to a beacon of selfless purpose forms the film’s core. Swank’s portrayal, a delicate balance of spirited perseverance and vulnerability, elevates the character beyond the predictable arc. The scenes shared with Emily Mitchell and Skywalker Hughes breathe life into the narrative, showcasing the convergence of seasoned talent and rising stars.

Ed’s Silent Struggle: A Father’s Resolve

Alan Ritchson’s portrayal of Ed, the grieving widower, adds a layer of profound authenticity to the film. Through nuanced expressions and a hulking, broody stature, Ritchson masterfully unveils Ed’s resolve and heartrending weakness – his inability to shield his family from the clutches of an incurable disease. The film’s visual dexterity, orchestrated by Gunn, accentuates these character dynamics, creating an immersive experience that lingers.

A Cinematic Palette: Visual Brilliance

Gunn, in collaboration with editor Parker Adams and cinematographer Maya Bankovic, paints a visual masterpiece. From poignant montages to diffused lighting that mirrors the Schmitts’ cozy house, the film’s aesthetics are absorbing and, at times, sobering. Notably, the metaphorical elements, like the handprint-emblazoned mailbox, contribute to the film’s emotional resonance.

Strengths and Weaknesses: A Balanced Critique

While “Ordinary Angels” soars on the wings of its strengths, it is not immune to critique. The narrative occasionally spells out its stakes, lacking confidence in the audience’s ability to grasp subtlety. Ed’s crisis of faith, while portrayed with sincerity, veers into familiar tropes. The omnipresence of Pancho Burgos-Goizueta’s sappy strings, though emotionally charged, occasionally overshadows the narrative’s organic flow.

Fictionalization and Narrative Truths

In the delicate dance between reality and cinematic effect, “Ordinary Angels” fictionalizes certain events for dramatic impact. The real Sharon differs from her cinematic counterpart, and the end credits omit crucial details. However, the film’s narrative sentiments resonate authentically, emphasizing the power of community and empathy, reminding us that sometimes, miracles are born from human compassion.


“Ordinary Angels” transcends the boundaries of a conventional drama, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of its audience. The synergy of stellar performances, visual finesse, and a narrative rooted in genuine emotion propels it to a realm where inspiration meets artistry. As we navigate the landscapes of ordinary lives intertwined with extraordinary moments, “Ordinary Angels” stands as a testament to the transformative power of empathy and the resilience of the human spirit.

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