Cameron Deane Stewart in By God's Grace (2014)

A Christian Christmas Carol

His parent's worked hard at building up their air charter service, but along with being devoted to their children Chris (Cameron Deane Stewart) and Grace (Savannah McReynolds) they were also devoted to God and being active in the community, helping out others less fortunate than them. But then things changes when Chris' parents and little sister died and suddenly he turns his back on religion and the charities which his parents supported, focusing hard on building up his empire and becoming a ruthless businessman. But as Christmas comes and Chris becomes even more ruthless than normal he gets a surprise visitor who shows him what he is going to lose.

What is it they say, never judge a book by its cover. Well I saw some artwork for "By God's Grace" and thought that looks like my sort of thing with its wintry scene, gold ribbons and winter berries. Unfortunately I have a feeling that a decent bit of this movie's budget went on the artwork to give it a polished look and sadly the actual movie is lacking in the finesse which that artwork at least hints to for me.

And do you know what, it is really annoying as "By God's Grace" takes the idea of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" and uses it as the basis for a Christian version with a young man who following heart break turned his back on the church and the charitable ethics his parents instilled in to him. As such instead of a business partner showing up from beyond the grave draped in chains we have the dead younger sister who takes her brother on a trip down memory lane to remind him of what his parents were all about and why they were like the way they were, doing lots of good for the less fortunate.

Now so you have a good idea but with a lack of finesse and unfortunately "By God's Grace" is one of those Christian movies where the combination of script, acting and camera work all leave a lot to be desired. I hate to do this but between the non realistic nature of the dialogue with some cheesy and often stilted delivery everything feels forced all the more so when it comes to the power bits where it wants to get its message across.

What this all boils down to is that "By God's Grace" can be summed up for me by saying a nice idea for a Christian Christmas movie which isn't the nativity. But unfortunately it suffers from the usual issues of script, acting and camera work which sadly spoil too many Christian movies.

Tags: Christmas Movies, A Christmas Carol