Review by Mark Schwab
October 21st, 2016
We might as well get this out of the way right upfront - I do not subscribe to the Evangelical Christian belief nor any traditional religious system (despite attending Catholic High School). With that caveat, I'll tread forward with as objective a review of FAITH'S SONG as I can muster without stepping out of my integrity. Ok deep breath...here we go.
Hayden McCoy plays the title role of Faith - a caring young girl being raised by her parents in a loving Christian home. Faith loves to sing in her church choir and has close friends to socialize with. Life is perfect until it isn't - Faith's parents are suddenly killed in a car accident, leaving her an orphan. This tragedy forces Faith to move to another city with her non-believing Aunt and Uncle as well as a threatening new school where she is instantly bullied for her overt Christian faith. Faith begins to feel the societal pressure to just shut up (or worse, give up) and pretend to be secular. Will Faith be able to stay true to her beliefs?
Even though that describes the main plot, FAITH'S SONG has a lot of subplots going on as well - a pregnant teen is thrown out of her house, Faith's Uncle has a tragic past causing him to lash out at Faith and "faith" in general, the school revival concert being put on by Faith...it's a lot to take in for one film. You could also describe the movie as a musical as Faith gets to sing plenty of Christian-based songs throughout.
FAITH'S SONG is nothing if not absolutely clear about its agenda - there is direct quoting of the Bible, a lot of preaching/sermonizing from the pulpit and the characters directly explaining how the road to Heaven and salvation goes directly through Jesus. Subtlety and even-handedness is not what Director Frankie Hutto is going for here which I can understand given the scores of movies which usually portray religious characters as clueless or even dangerous. Fair enough. The big problem for me with FAITH'S SONG is that the acting is just not professional enough to carry a feature film. Across the board. No question they are trying their best up there but their lack of experience makes the message come off as insincere - like they are selling a product as salespeople instead of organically inspiring an audience with their faith from their souls. I have no doubt that Frankie Hutto and his cast are genuine in their faith and message but the acting undercuts it in trying to reach a broader audience.
That said, the production values are a nice surprise. The film looks and sounds as good as a Hallmark TV movie or something you might see on the Lifetime Network and that is impressive in itself for an online-funded independent film. There are good locations and an impressive amount of extras for the school and church scenes.
I think FAITH'S SONG will have difficulty finding new converts but if you are a passionate person of Christian faith, I'm sure you will find it refreshing to see an unabashed, in your face Christian movie that wears its heart and Bible on its sleeve and sings from the rooftops.
To learn more about the film and donate to their distribution go to www.faithssong.com