Hilary Swank’s New Movie Ordinary Angels Will Melt Your Heart 

by Eliza C. Thompson

Based on the heartwarming true story of a Kentucky community coming together to save a little girl’s life, Ordinary Angels follows Sharon (Hilary Swank) as she spearheads a plan to help widower Ed (Alan Ritchson) pay for his young daughter’s medical treatment. Sharon is like a less foulmouthed Erin Brockovich, only her target is America’s healthcare system rather than corporate malfeasance. Some of her efforts are pretty standard—fundraising drives, accounting help—but by the time she gets a half-million-dollar hospital bill erased with just a brief conversation, you’ll wonder if she actually has supernatural powers. 

Co-written by Meg Tilly and Kelly Fremon Craig (the latter of whom directed this year’s Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret), Ordinary Angels hits some of the same beats as a Lifetime movie, but the stakes are so high that it never feels cheesy. Swank’s performance—Southern accent, big hair, and all—will remind you why she has two Oscars, even if her character’s motivation remains slightly hazy. Sharon is a recovering alcoholic who’s estranged from her own son, but the movie leaves viewers wanting a bit more information about her interior life. What could possibly inspire a person to go to such lengths to help a stranger? The script seems to settle on “because it’s the right thing to do.” If it feels a bit pat, that could be because Ordinary Angels is just too pure for this cynical era. We should all strive to be more like Sharon. Directed by Jon Gunn, the film hits theaters Feb 23rd. 

–Eliza C. Thompson

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