It’s Wednesday at the 2015 Sedona International Film Festival with another packed day of programming that includes a further tribute to Orson Welles with a special showing of the classic Chimes at Midnight, hosted by film critic Jeffrey Lyons, Ray Kelly and Beatrice Wells at 3:10 p.m.
Look also for a live production this evening at 6 p.m. called A Twist of Lemmon. It’s a one man performance from Chris Lemmon saluting the life and career of his father, Jack Lemmon.
Among the documentaries and the live presentations pay attention to a new comedy this evening with a showing at 9 p.m.
Back in 2001 there was an amiable Australian comedy called The Man Who Sued God, the story of an ex-lawyer whose property was destroyed by a sudden burst of Mother Nature. The insurance company refused to pay up insisting that it was an ‘Act of God.’ So, instead of suing the insurance company for his money the ex-lawyer, played by Scottish comedian Billy Connolly, did exactly what the title suggests; he took God to court. The film was a hit on its own turf, less so in Europe, and virtually unknown in America, which is a major plus to this new and somewhat gentle comedy from director Stewart Schill.
Frank Vs. God is an American take on a similar premise and just like its Aussie counterpart, the film stars another Scot as its lead. Henry Ian Cusick (TV’s Lost) plays ex-lawyer David Frank who stuns the religious establishment in Florida by suing the Almighty when the insurance company refuses to pay for the destruction of his tornado damaged home. “If God destroyed my house, then God should pay for it,” Frank insists. The idea was always a good one, but the problem the writers face is the same as the Australian film; how do you end a situation like this? The outcome is the audience divider. In a film with a religious premise but reality based, the white light, spiritual sequence feels at odds with the down-to-earth tone of the rest of the film.
Schill, who also wrote the screenplay, treads carefully and presents his issue with light humor and a degree of restraint, unlike the Australian comedy that dropped f-bombs and veered considerably into black humor with an aggressive protagonist. It may sound potentially outrageous, but here with its overall mildness, no one, except maybe the two Jehovah’s Witnesses who are chased from Frank’s front door at gun point, should be offended. “So, if I followed the Koran,” the lawyer suggests to Imam al Bakri (Ted Sod), “God would’ve saved my house?” The Imam smiles and gives a shrug. “Couldn’t hurt,” he replies.
Frank Vs. God can bee seen this evening at 9 p.m. with a second showing this Saturday, February 28 at 6 p.m.
For more regarding times and dates CLICK HERE for the official 2015 Annual Sedona International Film Festival schedule grid.