OPINION: ‘Ordinary Angels’ an extraordinary film

When it comes to releasing exceptional films, Lionsgate has no limits, from “The Hunger Games” to “Sinister, and now with their latest release “Ordinary Angels.” 

The film was released on Feb. 23 and is based on a true story of locals in Louisville, Ky.  

Sharon Stevens, played by famous actress Hilary Swank, is an accomplished hairdresser and co-owner of a salon with her friend Rose, but after hours, she is known for debauchery and alcohol dependence. Rose confronts Stevens and drags her to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting where she walks out and stops to get a six-pack of beers. 

At checkout, she sees the local paper headlining a story of a five-year-old girl named Michelle Schmitt who recently lost her mother to a rare liver disease that she is now severely ill with. Although she does not have a liver to give Michelle, she takes this as an opportunity to be better and reach out to the family.  

In last night’s party clothes, Stevens shows up unannounced to the mother’s funeral. Her abrupt entrance did not go unnoticed; Michelle, played by Emily Mitchell, and Ashley, played by Skywalker Hughes, were drawn to her sparkly party clothes. 

Ed, played by famous actor Alan Ritchson, notices a stranger speaking to his young daughters. The concerned father attempts to subtly steer his daughters away from Stevens, yet this did not stop her as she was determined to help Michelle and the family. 

Stevens organizes a fundraiser at the salon for Michelle.  

Nearby, Ed’s mother Barbara temporarily moves in to help him with the girls while he works. She sees him struggling and reminds him to leave it in God’s hands, but Ed confesses that with the loss of his wife, his daughter’s illness, debts and medical bills that he is losing his faith in God.  

In this moment, it was like God was trying to restore his faith. Stevens shows up at their door and gives him an envelope of cash from the fundraiser. Barbara invites her in, yet Ed is still weary of her. 

Throughout the film, Ed is unsure of Stevens, but since Michelle’s condition worsens, placing her at the top of the liver transplant list, along with the continuous accumulation of debts and medical bills, he attempts to accept her help.  

The Schmitt family faces the impossible but somehow relief becomes known, often with the help of Stevens. It is not herself that does it; it is the hope that she has, and it fuels her determination to make the impossible possible.  

Her determination to help Michelle is admirable, so admirable that it convinces others to help too, highlighting the importance of community. 

“Ordinary Angels” is an emotional rollercoaster of challenges and conflicts, but it demonstrates that anything can be conquered when you stand together. It reminds viewers when there is a will, there is a way. 

The film is rooted in faith, in God and religion, but it is executed in a way that is enlightening and genuine. 

The emphasis of the film is finding hope even when it may be difficult to do so and that there is a chance of being better, despite our limitations. 

The topics discussed throughout “Ordinary Angels” are difficult: alcoholism, death and critical illness. It shows the realities of life although it serves as a reminder that in times of struggle, there is hope within one another.  

From where I stand this movie is far from the word in its title ordinary.” I think a better word to describe it is extraordinary.” It is a remarkable, real-life story of locals that came together to save a little girl’s life.