The widow Grace Jackson is being persecuted by a small Texas town local government—her property has been valued too high, thus causing her taxes to skyrocket. To make matters worse, the incumbent mayor will have nothing to do with it. Will the injustice in America ever end? Thus, two aspiring filmmakers take it upon themselves to create a western musical about Grace’s plight, which is the most natural thing you would do in this situation. But the mayor’s nephew, a corrupt media figure, is trying to undermine them at every turn. Will their film be able to make the case to free Grace from her persecution, or will the liberal media win out?
Production Quality (1.5 points)
For starters, at least the HeuMoore team put some thought into how their movie looked, whatever you may think about it. Video quality is fine and camera work is professional. Sets and locations are decent enough, but some of the props are slightly cheesy. Audio quality is fine, but the original soundtrack, which includes characters literally singing, is atrocious. Not only is the singing bad, the lyrics are absurd. One of the songs is actually five minutes long and is extremely painful. Elsewhere, the editing isn’t really that impressive as scenes cut off awkwardly and transitions are hard to follow. In the end, though this production looks good on the outside, the beauty is only skin deep.
Plot and Storyline Quality (0 points)
It is very difficult to take this plot seriously because of its musical elements and because of its basically patriarchal fundamentalist Christian worldview. While the issue discussed therein has some basis in reality, its presentation is very poor and its messaging is too in-your-face. The dialogue that isn’t sung comes off as manufactured, thus creating very cardboard characters. The ‘villains’ are extremely cheesy strawmen. There is too much fake outrage that attempts to fuel this half-baked nearly-propaganda piece. Whatever point is trying to be driven home here is too easily lost and generally contributes to a further negative view of Christian entertainment.
Acting Quality (1 point)
Consisting of a mostly amateur cast, there are some talented performances here, but a lot of the emotions are seemingly ingenuine and overly practiced. Line delivery is very measured and stilted. Costuming and makeup is not the best. Also, did we mention the singing? Overall, this is neither the worst nor the best performance.
Unfortunately, you can tell without asking what this film group is trying to push. While they are not as extreme as some, they tend to push fundamentalism in its usual unpalatable forms. Women are cast in a silently offensive light and opposing viewpoints are made a mockery of. Even though The Widow’s Might is not even as blatant as some fundamentalist propaganda (see Last Ounce of Courage), it still has its undeniable elements and its fixation on subjective traditionalism. However, it seems like the makers of this film have moved on from this worldview, which is a breath of fresh air.
Final Rating: 2.5 out of 10 points
Edit: The review was edited to reflect accuracy, as brought to light by the film maker.