Making the Grades
If you could talk to God, what would you ask?
For Neale Donald Walsch, most of the questions are angry whys and how comes. Although shocked when he actually receives an answer, the fifty-year-plus man faithfully records the heavenly guidance he receives -- and eventually publishes it as a series of Conversations With God books. This movie (named after the successful franchise), recounts the events that lead up to the author's celestial communications.
After an automobile accident leaves him with a broken neck, Neale Walsch (played by Henry Czerny) looses his job and is evicted from his home. With nowhere to turn (it is implied he has burned bridges with any friends or family he may have), the injured man sets up camp in a tent-town full of other down-on-their-luck characters. Here he survives by eating out of dumpsters, padding his sleeping bag with newspaper, and generating an income by collecting recyclables. Then, just when he thinks he's found an opportunity to change his degrading existence, fortune delivers yet another crushing blow.
At the end of his rope, the desperate man cries out to a supreme being for understanding of life's unfair mysteries. And to his amazement, someone answers. Sounding at first like his own voice addressing the thoughts in his head, a divine dialogue begins that sheds light on his dark depression, shares wisdom about his senseless situation, and lends laughter to his loneliness. The flood of information is soon overflowing onto many notebooks and memo pads. Sensing he is not the only lost soul who could benefit from this inspiration, Walsch starts to organize the dictation into a manuscript and to look for a publisher.
Not surprisingly, the movie shows life on the street with sympathy for those who find themselves trapped there due to circumstances or addictions. Family viewers should be aware of the depicted alcohol abuse, along with some slight sexual innuendo, mild language and a brief reenactment of a car crash. But the content capable of creating the greatest controversy is the question implied by this biographical dramatization: Is Walsch really having Conversations With God? Your answer to that query will determine whether you see the film as a religious experience, or merely a touching rags-to-riches tale.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Conversations With God.
How do you feel about Mr. Walsch’s message that God will talk to anyone who will listen? Do you believe you can find divine answers to your earthly questions? Do you think you can receive that information through someone else?
A lady named Sunny asks Walsch, “How far do you need to fall before you realize your behavior is an attempt to destroy yourself?” How can you tell if a person is a victim of circumstances beyond their control or the consequences of self-destructive choices? How can you tell the difference in your own life? Looking at the actions of the characters in the movie, in which category would you put their various decisions?
This movie has an unusual closing scene. What do you think the imagery is trying to say?