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Higher Ground
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Higher Ground (2011) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 26 | slideshow) Videos (see all 5)
Higher Ground -- Vera Farmiga's directorial debut, HIGHER GROUND, tells the story of a thoughtful woman's struggles with belief, love and trust.
Higher Ground -- A small evangelical Christian community is thrown off balance when one of their own, Corrine (Vera Farmiga), begins to question her faith.
Higher Ground -- Clip: You Turn Your Head When I Kiss You
Higher Ground -- Clip: Corrine Tries To Find Her Tongue
Higher Ground -- Clip: Help Me


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Down 9% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Carolyn S. Briggs (screenplay) and
Tim Metcalfe (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Higher Ground on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
26 August 2011 (USA) See more »
A chronicle of one woman's lifelong struggle with her faith. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
1 win & 7 nominations See more »
(355 articles)
User Reviews:
an opinion from a Christian viewer See more (32 total) »


  (in credits order)

Joshua Leonard ... Ethan Miller

Norbert Leo Butz ... Pastor Bill

Michael Chernus ... Ned

Vera Farmiga ... Corinne Walker
McKenzie Turner ... Young Corrine Walker

Donna Murphy ... Kathleen Walker

John Hawkes ... CW Walker
Matthew Dubas ... Salesman
Taylor Schwencke ... Young Wendy Walker
Jillian Lindig ... Mrs. Tittle

Bill Irwin ... Pastor Bud
Alden Rosakranse ... Tim

Taissa Farmiga ... Teenage Corinne Walker
James Noon ... Kirk
Kaitlyn Rae King ... Teenage Wendy Walker

Boyd Holbrook ... Teenage Ethan Miller
Brandon Boyer ... Mike
Harrison Basch ... Renegade
Noah Bowman ... Renegade
Booker James Winter ... Biology Teacher
Gene DeWitt ... Gene
Flynn Hawkey ... Baby Abigail
Warren Haynes ... Warren
Luella Roche ... Younger Abigail Miller
Sarah Banks ... Younger Lily Miller

Dagmara Dominczyk ... Annika
Barbara Blackburn ... Deborah (as Barbara Tuttle)

Molly Hawkey ... Molly

Ebon Moss-Bachrach ... Luke
Joe Leary ... Joe
Frank L. Goodyear ... Dr. Frank Barnes (voice)

Reagan Leonard ... Hope
Charles Glaser ... Woody

Lucy Owen ... Joanne

Nina Arianda ... Wendy
Joseph Sinagra ... Cop
Sarah Little ... Older Abigail Miller
Zoë Allegra ... Old Lily Miller (as Zoe Pipa)
Mathew Biltonen ... Gabe Miller (as Mathew Bieutonen)
Sonia T. Gittens ... Nurse
Eli Rubinstein ... Seven Year Old Boy
Amy Helm ... Amy
MacHan Taylor ... MacHan
Jorgen Jorgensen ... Jorgen
Tom Cherwin ... Man in Counseling Office
Laurel S. Andretta ... Woman in Counseling Office
Karen Keefe ... Receptionist
Jack Gilpin ... Dr. Dick Adams
Oliver Wood ... Oliver

Sean Mahon ... Liam Donovan

Natalie Thomas ... Liam's Wife
Terry McKenna ... Pawn Shop Worker

Deborah Hedwall ... Faye
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Stephen W. Tenner ... Parishioner

Alison Ball ... Rebecca - Believer (uncredited)

Ralph Cashen ... Soccer coach (uncredited)
Colin Holmes ... Library Patron (uncredited)

P.J. Jentsch ... Peter (uncredited)
Phillip X Levine ... Zealot (uncredited)
George Peck ... Grooms Father (uncredited)

Laurent Rejto ... Gallery Patron (uncredited)
Dannielle Rose ... Gabe's Teacher (uncredited)

Directed by
Vera Farmiga 
Writing credits
Carolyn S. Briggs (screenplay) and
Tim Metcalfe (screenplay)

Carolyn S. Briggs (memoir "This Dark World")

Produced by
Carolyn S. Briggs .... executive producer
Jonathan Burkhart .... executive producer
Brice Dal Farra .... executive producer
Claude Dal Farra .... producer
Renn Hawkey .... producer
Carly Hugo .... producer
Tim Metcalfe .... executive producer
Lauren Munsch .... executive producer
Jeremy Newmark .... associate producer
Matthew Parker .... producer (as Matt Parker)
Jon Rubinstein .... producer
MacHan Taylor .... associate producer
Original Music by
Alec Puro 
Cinematography by
Michael McDonough (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Colleen Sharp 
Casting by
Kerry Barden 
Paul Schnee 
Production Design by
Sharon Lomofsky 
Art Direction by
Shawn Carroll 
Lisa Myers 
Set Decoration by
Diana Bregman 
Costume Design by
Amela Baksic 
Makeup Department
Caroline Blanchard .... hair stylist additional
Caroline Blanchard .... makeup artist additional
Ashley Fox .... makeup department head
Jeff Gautier .... additional hair stylist
Jeff Gautier .... additional makeup artist
Denise Guerra .... hair stylist additional
Denise Guerra .... makeup artist additional
Liliana Meyrick .... hair designer
Iliana Palacios .... hair stylist assistant
Iliana Palacios .... makeup artist assistant
Cynthia Vanis .... hair stylist additional
Cynthia Vanis .... makeup artist additional
Production Management
James McKay .... production manager
Jeremy Newmark .... post-production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Marymichael D'Onofrio .... second second assistant director
Barbara Maia .... second assistant director
Michael T. Meador .... first assistant director (as Michael Meador)
Art Department
Cathy Anderson .... head scenic
Justin Bregman .... property intern
Walter Carroll .... sign painter
Farley Crawford .... additional scenic
Phil Dorling .... on-set dresser
Adriana Farmiga .... gallery curator
Adriana Farmiga .... scenic
Evan Fiddler .... property master
Sean Graham .... set dresser
Leanne Gunn .... graphic designer
Susan Kaufman .... assistant greensman
Matt Kehoe .... scenic
Patricia Lowden .... greensman
Bill McKay .... construction grip
Alice Myers .... graphic designer
Anna Myers .... graphic designer
Patrick Neri .... on-set dresser
Jason Newmark .... graphic designer
Jason Nicholson .... construction
Andy Paluselli .... set dresser
Stephanie Russo .... assistant greensman
Jenny Shields .... leadman
Jean Slutzky .... additional scenic
Brian Spears .... specialty props
Nicholas Strang-Wolf .... art department production assistant
Sound Department
Ryan Collison .... foley engineer
James Demer .... sound mixer
David Fleming .... boom operator
Mariusz Glabinski .... sound effects editor
Robert Hein .... supervising sound editor
Jeremy Jones .... loop group recordist
Sylvia Menno .... dialogue editor
Jay Peck .... foley artist
Mike Perreault .... additional sound utility
Seth Tallman .... additional sound mixer
Dominick Tavella .... sound re-recording mixer
Paul Yurt .... systems engineer
Robert Fernandez .... sound re-recording mixer (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Terry Atkins .... compositor
Matt Brealey .... 3D artist
Marco de Goeij .... lead matchmover
Chris De Santo .... matchmover
Chris De Santo .... visual effects supervisor: post-production
Linus Hofmann .... lead compositor
Rachel Uwa .... compositor
Marijn Eken .... compositor (uncredited)
Chris Barnes .... stunt utility
Sally Bishop .... stunt performer
Roy Farfel .... stunt driver
Manny Siverio .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Abraham Altbuch .... additional grip
Steve Baker .... additional grip
Manuel Billeter .... camera operator: "b" camera
Rick Brick .... additional grip
Bryan Cloninger .... additional camera operator: "b" camera
Aude Cuenod .... camera intern
James Daly .... second assistant camera: "b" camera
David Damota .... grip intern
Patrick Doherty .... additional grip
Jeffrey Dutemple .... camera operator: "a" camera (as Jeff Dutemple)
Gerald Gloster .... additional grip
Christopher Graham .... media manager
Shawn Greene .... gaffer
Molly Hawkey .... still photographer
Edward Jones .... additional grip
Philip Kathrens .... additional electric (as Phil Kathrens)
Chris Koch .... key grip
Nina Kuhn .... additional gaffer
Kate Larose .... additional first assistant camera: "a" camera
Rachael Levine .... additional camera operator
Nadine Martinez .... second assistant camera: "a" camera
Jamie Merritt .... additional grip (as James D. Merritt)
Jeremy Newmark .... digital imaging supervisor
Alan Pierce .... additional camera operator
Che Roacher .... best boy grip
Satish Sahi .... additional gaffer (as Satish Shahi)
Leo Sandler .... camera operator: "c" camera
Daniel Sharnoff .... additional camera operator: "b" camera
John Shim .... third electric
Edwin Shimko .... additional second assistant camera: "b" camera
Nate Slevin .... first assistant camera: "a" camera
Caleb Smith .... additional electric
Joshua Solson .... additional electric (as Josh Solson)
Justin Suriano .... additional electric
Sean Taylor .... best boy electric
Thomas Vaughan .... additional grip (as Tom Vaughan)
Katie Waalkes .... additional second assistant camera: "b" camera (as Kathryn Waalkes)
Joy Weber .... additional electric
Robert White .... additional electric
G.T. Womack .... first assistant camera: "b" camera (as GT Womack)
Jay Feather .... camera operator (uncredited)
Casting Department
Rich Delia .... casting associate
Allison Estrin .... casting associate
Kacee Pyles .... extras casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Chelsea Feil .... wardrobe intern (as Chelsea Lee Feil)
Tamika Jackson .... wardrobe supervisor
Erika Lilienthal .... assistant costume designer
Naomi Wolff .... additional assistant costume designer
Editorial Department
Adam Hawkey .... digital intermediate colorist (as Adam S. Hawkey)
Adam Hawkey .... digital intermediate conformist (as Adam S. Hawkey)
Jeremy Newmark .... on-line editor
Peter Saguto .... assistant editor
Music Department
Levon Broussalian .... music supervisor: The Music Collective
Rory Cowal .... musician: additional piano
Renn Hawkey .... music director
Jeremy Jones .... additional music recordist
James Lum .... musician: additional guitar
Alec Puro .... arranger
Mati Shalpak .... assistant: Alec Puro
Micki Stern .... music clearance: The Music Collective
MacHan Taylor .... vocal coach
Jorgen Jorgensen .... musician (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Lisa Myers .... picture cars
Other crew
Brittany Almeida .... first team production assistant
Michele Baker .... location manager
Pippa Bianco .... extras coordinator
John 'JR' Craigmile .... production accountant (as J.R. Craigmile)
Donna Daniels .... publicist: festival
Kimberly Feinman .... location manager
Scott Friedman .... key production assistant
Rachelle Gibson .... script supervisor
Colette Hallinan .... accounting clerk
Mark Hugo .... craft service: Good Stuff Café
Sheri Jeffrey .... attorney: distribution
Ethan Leight .... set intern
David Massee .... set intern (as David 'Dewey' Massie)
George S. Matsuo .... set intern (as George Matsuo)
Paul Miller .... security
Alinda Muszynski .... assistant location manager
Tim Nesmith .... set production assistant
Jason Newmark .... title designer
Jason Nicholson .... assistant to producers
Doug Panetta .... set intern
Mike Perreault .... set production assistant
Krysten Pollard .... assistant to producers
Kacee Pyles .... assistant production office coordinator
Kacee Pyles .... clearance and licensing
Irwin M. Rappaport .... production legal services
Brandon Rohwer .... unit publicist
Weiman Seid .... unit publicist
Erin Sweeney .... production office coordinator
Crawford Watson .... set production assistant
Mackenzie Luzzi .... additional production assistant (uncredited)
Brian O'Shea .... world sales executive (uncredited)
Rebecca Atwood .... special thanks
Wendy Cox .... thanks
Christo Dimassis .... special thanks
Flynn Hawkey .... special thanks
Amy Helm .... special thanks
Jacob Hutchings .... special thanks
Jeremy Jones .... special thanks
Brian Keady .... thanks
Elana Krausz .... special thanks
Joe Leary .... special thanks
Kyle Luker .... special thanks
Jill McGrath .... special thanks
Joseph Muszynski .... thanks
Jeemy Newmark .... special thanks
Jason Nicholson .... special thanks
Anney Perrine .... thanks
Marla Sokoloff .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for some language and sexual content
USA:109 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Actor/Director Vera Farmiga directed this film while 5 months pregnant.See more »
Revealing mistakes: At the therapist's office, the wall clock is clearly not working as the second hand is not moving.See more »
Movie Connections:
SouvenirSee more »


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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
an opinion from a Christian viewer, 29 June 2012

I am a Christian who have had some experience with the kind of community this movie portrays, and while watching this film, I think this is something for Christian community to watch and think about it. I don't think the film attack the faith or the religion, but it make us question whether all the singing, ceremony, bible reading, church activities,that we do everyday matter at all if there is no "Love and Honesty" in them. Doesn't the Lord tell us that nothing mater if it's not done with love? Doesn't the Bible tell us that you shouldn't come to my altar if you haven't reconcile with your brother? Doesn't God tell us not to judge others? Through her life, Corinne's growing and losing of faith reflect that even honest doubt is still better than pretending to have faith, better than faith with a narrow-mind, faith that is blind to see one's own fault,or faith that judges other people to go to Hell. How many times, after we sing and praise the Lord, and read the Bible, we go home and then hurt those people in our family? How many times we doubt but don't dare to admit to others because we want to be accepted in the community? I think watching this film and discussing about it with an open mind can help Christian community view themselves more honestly. If you watch the whole films, you will find that the moment that reflect "God" the most are the ones when the characters truly love,care,and accept one another, not the scene where praise song are sung or clever words are spoken. The most beautiful things in the movie was the good friendship between Corinne and Annika,the honest sharing of thought between Corinne and the Irish postman,and Corrine's courage to speak out about her doubt in front of her church for the last time. Those are the moment when God is reflected, not in ceremony, gospel singing, or church attending. And the scenes that make me feel a bit shamed of being a Christian because you know such mistakes do exist are: Wendy, Corinne's drug dealing sister, left her home after Corinne and her husband tried to preach to her in anger and force a faith upon her, the scene when the husband strangle Corinne's neck in the care after she tells him the truth how she feels, the scene when the counselor preached Hell fire to her and throw all the faults at her.

In the end, you will understand why Corinne choose to stay "out with the dogs." (That dog in front of the church is really cute, by the way.) The only sad thing about this film that disappoint me was that it doesn't show "true faith" and "how to go through doubt after accepting that it exists in your heart." In every Christian community, I believe there are those whose faith are real and strong, not just pretending or make-believe. There are those people whose hearts are so beautiful and know what the real teaching of Jesus is and how it should be applied in life, but are wise enough to know that forcing a faith upon a non-believer or judging a sinner to go to Hell is contracting to what God asks us to do. These people do exist in Christian communities and they can really be a good example of others, even to non-believers.

Recommend the film highly, but watch it with an open heart, please.

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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Higher Ground (2011)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Corinne's Eye Color JaJa730
What was the 'W' word? jawebster2000
Why all those dogs? gigicarl
Teenage Ethan.. MissImpossible
My take on this film (possible spoilers) stewardia
Farmiga's Film Acts as an Honest Portrayal of Process landonlynch1
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