I love Faith & Family Films! You can always expect a family-friendly film that highlights the importance of family, prayer and Bible reading. The Woodcarver was no exception. The plot actually begins in a riveting fashion, with the lead character, Matthew, shattering the stain-glass windows and intricate woodwork outside. Because he wears a black hoodie and the church is poorly lit, it is a spooky beginning, especially as you realize that there is an active security camera on the site. It’s no surprise that he’s sitting in church the next day, talking over the damage with his parents and Pastor. :)
The film has a very powerful message of the importance of a family. Pastor Clark encourages Matthew’s parents to pray together about their impending divorce, which is the reason Matthew has become trouble and begins violence in his neighborhood. I greatly enjoyed this, as single parenting seems to be common in films these days.
“What Would Jesus Do?” is accurately the film’s subtitle, as The Woodcarver DVD encourages the viewer to live lives like Jesus would. In the film, this means Matthew must go back to school and spend his extra hours helping the woodworker, Ernest, repair the damages. Along the way, Matthew makes amends with his parents and begins restoring his life through guidance from the woodworker. If Ernest cannot come up with the wood in time for the church’s next building project, a contractor (who Matthew’s father works for) will be supplying the church with cheap particle board which he feels is better for the church. Little time and a few tragedies along the way make the plot of The Woodworker overall riveting and exciting.
The only thing I did not appreciate about The Woodcarver is how the film appears identical to another film, The Last Brickmaker In America, that I watched and reviewed last year. I believe this is because both films were based on a true story, and the plots themselves were retold in different forms. Overall, I would have to say that The Woodcarver was better for many reasons, however. If one has not seen The Last Brickmaker in America, The Woodcarver will be an excellent family-friendly film about the importance of family and prayer (though still, a few parts were a little hard to believe, and most of the film was extremely predictable). I will definitely be watching this good film again in the future as I enjoyed watching Matthew, his parents, and the woodcarver mend their relationships with themselves, each other, and God.
Running time: 90 minutes
Release date: March 13, 2012
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