The Chosen: a series of surprises
It’s captivated young people (and so many others!) around the world, leaving countless fans saying, “I grew closer to the Christian faith thanks to this series. It put a face to Jesus’ name.”
We are referring to The Chosen tv series (produced by angelstudios.com) – a series broadcast only via streaming – about Jesus of Nazareth. The set design is outstanding, the dialogues compelling, and the language cinematic rather than homiletic. It has been particularly successful in reaching younger viewers, who have appreciated it so much that not only the first but also the second season was broadcast around the world for free—thanks to the donations of its loyal fanbase, ultimately bringing us hope in the midst of a pandemic.
The Chosen introduces us to the life of Jesus (played by Jonathan Roumie), inspired directly from the Gospels.
The app developed by VidAngel has been downloaded more than 5 million times on Google Play. On YouTube and Facebook, the first season, released in 2019, has accumulated more than 9 million views, and the platform, as a whole, has reached something like 50 million views.
The peculiarity of the series is that, beyond the apologetic purpose (those who came up with it most definitely are trying to evangelize) the story turns out to be exciting, intriguing, moving, and entertaining even for a "further away" audience. We recommend this show for all those who wish to know more about Jesus, in light of this upcoming holiday that celebrates his birth.
The Grinch (made in 2000, directed by Ron Howard): an animated movie for children and adults
The Grinch is a hairy creature who’s sulky and introverted. He lives with his dog, Max, above the city of Whoville, in a cave.
Being a sad, lonely guy, the Grinch hates Christmas. He can't stand the cheerful spirit, the feeling of brotherhood, togetherness, and, above all, the Christmas music.
He’s put up with it all for fifty-three years, but now he can't stand it anymore, and he crafts a plan to steal Christmas from the Whos. He wants to steal all the presents, the decorations and, most of all, their happiness.
They must stop singing, once and for all!
So, he drafts a detailed plan.
Riding his dog Max, who is disguised as a reindeer, he pretends to be Santa Claus. But instead of delivering gifts, he’ll be taking them. When everything seems to be going his way and the evil mission is almost over, a little six-year-old girl, Cindy Lou Who, gets in the way of his plans. She will not only succeed in bringing Christmas back to her village, but also in breaking the Grinch's small and hardened heart, making it grow three sizes larger—ultimately turning the Grinch good again...
War Room (made in 2015 by Alex and Stephen Kendrick): all about discovering forgiveness in marriage
Elizabeth is a real estate agent; Tony, a pharmaceutical salesman. They are married with a 10-year-old daughter, but their marriage has come to an end. Both are constantly on the warpath against one another. Proud and always letting their own personal beliefs and needs get in the way, they don't know how to understand each other.
Clara, a kind, elderly woman of deep and sincere faith, meets Elizabeth during a business appointment and helps her to understand that she and her husband are fighting the "wrong battle."
Clara manages to establish a trustful relationship with Elizabeth and, in one of their meetings, offers her some advice. The first – and most important – is to start praying for Tony instead of giving him a hard time.
During their most difficult trial (when Elizabeth’s friend warns her that her husband is about to cheat on her), she begins "to draw her weapons," as the elderly woman suggests. She decides to trust God with all her heart. Weeping, she confidently asks the Lord to transform Tony's heart so that he can become the best version of himself.
After much resistance, she lets go of her resentment, responds to her husband's indifference, cynicism, and anger toward her with prayer for him. She also showed him respect in a way she hadn’t for quite some time.
Elizabeth opens herself up to forgiveness, having overcome the pride that led her to hold it all against him and demand "justice."
When Elizabeth changes her attitude and humbly accepts her husband as he is, that is the moment when miracles begin to happen in their marriage and family. Even the husband, feeling unconditionally loved, stops to reflect and questions himself. He eventually will feel called to change.
It’s a movie to watch as a couple, to recognize how forgiveness – one of the values that has always been linked to Christmas – can rebuild bonds where before was solely brokenness.
The film's directors are two evangelical Christians who are committed to promoting stories based on the Christian faith. War Room was not as successful as its predecessors Fireproof and Facing the Giants, but it is still an inspiring film.
And do you have any movies to suggest for the Christmas season?