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Dial a Prayer (2015)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 10 April 2015 (USA)
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Cora spends her days begrudgingly answering phones at a Prayer Call Center under the watch of well-intentioned leader Bill. When a caller shows up convinced he's been saved by her voice, she must decide if she's the one he thinks she is.

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Cora
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Bill
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Chase
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Mary
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Siobhan
Rhonda Freya English ...
Georgia
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Marty Bufalini ...
Martin Tobin
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Drunk Girl
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Brett
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Clerk
...
Marlene
Aral Gribble ...
Jeff
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Raven Haired Woman
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Shane Harboe
...
Serena Belle
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Storyline

Cora, a disenchanted and troubled young woman, begrudgingly answers phones at a Prayer Call Center under the watchful direction of its religious leader Bill. When her prayers start making a difference, one caller shows up convinced he's been saved by her voice. With the discovery of her newfound gift, Cora struggles to reconcile her troubled past, and grapples with the faith that others have started to show in her. Written by Vertical Entertainment

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Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, brief strong language, some drug use and suggestive material
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10 April 2015 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kinek a pap...  »

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Soundtracks

Man Machine
Written by Daniel Lenz and Brent Daniels
Performed by Daniel Lenz
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User Reviews

 
Better Dialogue and Scene Structure than most films
15 August 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Anyone who reads my reviews knows that I always beg for more character development and back stories. I loved this movie, but I needed to know a bit more about the supporting characters.

William Macy plays a wonderfully animated boss of a Dial-A-Prayer business. But we never hear how he got into the field or why. Also, no one ever identifies what church the girl's family, the call center, and the town identify with. Is it Catholic? Interestingly, there is practically no mention of Jesus, except when the funny boss says that he parted the Red Sea.

Therefore, I think a non-Christian could feel comfortable watching this without feeling bombarded by J.C.

The film is not really about religion. It is about second chances and turning one's life around. There is good usage of the Fall and Winter Midwest landscape. One could see it as either bleak, or starkly beautiful, depending on attitude. There are some clever references to that. The final scene shows a couple quietly beholding the glory of a blank snowy setting.

Do prayers make a difference? Our protagonist keeps asking this question. Of course they do, but the film focuses only on the aspect of making people feel better. It doesn't mention any metaphysical effect on the world at large, or the idea of praying for world peace and messianic redemption. People are only praying for themselves and their family to deal with domestic and health issues.

Casting is so essential to a character-driven film. This one aced the test. I don't know who Brittany Snow is, but her no-makeup sadness came through the screen with genuine sincerity. Macy phoned it in, no pun intended, but in his case, he phones it in beautifully. Glen Headly, the mom, fit the profile to perfection. No one here is great looking or flashy. They are ordinary people in a working class Midwestern town trying to make it through life the best way they can.

What I loved the most was the way they structured dialogue scenes. The characters would say just the right amount of words to each other, without overdoing it or milking the scenes for manipulative effect.

I could have done without the few dream sequences and the schmaltzy music toward the end, but the photography was first rate.


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