Kevin Ott Headshot 2016 (full size)Before I dive into a film I’m very excited about, a new Renée Zellweger film (three cheers, by the way, for Zellweger returning to the big screen this year), I’d like to count a few blessings.

In recent years big studios and big name actors have been joining forces to release feature films that paint authentic, powerful portraits of faith. Films like Heaven is for Real with Greg Kinnear and Thomas Haden Church, Miracles from Heaven with Jennifer Garner, Captive with David Oyelowo and Kate Mara, and 90 Minutes in Heaven with Hayden Christensen and Kate Bosworth have all brought the kind of quality films that movie fans from faith communities have longed to see for years. For Christians like myself who have loved cinema for as long as I could remember, these are good times. And, frankly, for decades I’ve heard Christians praying for God to move in Hollywood and bring more films that influence culture in positive ways and depict faith in realistic, powerful ways. In the last 12 years or so, especially since 2014 when things really accelerated, I’ve seen this prayer answered. God has done so much. Faith communities sometimes focus too much on whatever negatives are present at the moment, but if we’re not careful, we might overlook the very answers to our prayers that God has brought to us.

With all that in mind, I believe a feature film coming in February 2017, called “Same Kind of Different As Me,” is yet another answer to prayer and another addition to the list of top-notch films that tackle faith themes in authentic, inspiring, and entertaining ways.

Here’s the plot summary from the studio, and at the bottom of this article you can watch the trailer:

SAME KIND OF DIFFERENT AS ME is the story of an international art dealer Ron Hall (Greg Kinnear) who must befriend a dangerous homeless man (Djimon Hounsou) in order to save his struggling marriage to his wife (Renée Zellweger), a woman whose dreams will lead all three of them on the most remarkable journey of their lives. Jon Voight plays Hall’s father, with whom he reconciles thanks to the revelations of his new life. SAME KIND OF DIFFERENT AS ME is in theaters February 3, 2017.

The film is based on a book, which tells the true story of Ron Hall and Denver Moore. Besides developing a remarkable friendship, the two men grow in faith together, and God uses them both to reveal His love and grace to an entire community. The story is a wonderfully inspiring portrait of faith and God’s love that can cross any divide in our culture. In the ever-increasing racial tensions in our country, this is a timely message and a timely movie. Here’s a great quote from a review by Teen Ink about the book that gives a sample of themes the movie will (most likely) contain:

One of my favorite quotes from the book is, “There’s somethin I learned when I was homeless: Our limitation is God’s opportunity.” This quote by Denver really made me think, because of the truth in it. When we feel alone, helpless, and completely lost, that is when God will show us he is there. In Denver’s words, “When you get all the way to the end of your rope and there ain’t nothing you can do, that’s when God takes over.” We may not notice God when things are going smoothly, but when we need him most, if we believe, he will be there.

And here’s the trailer.