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Higher Ground (2011)

2:03 | Trailer
A chronicle of one woman's lifelong struggle with her faith.


Vera Farmiga


Carolyn S. Briggs (screenplay), Tim Metcalfe (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Joshua Leonard ... Ethan Miller
Norbert Leo Butz ... Pastor Bill
Michael Chernus ... Ned
Vera Farmiga ... Corinne Walker
McKenzie Turner McKenzie Turner ... Young Corrine Walker
Donna Murphy ... Kathleen Walker
John Hawkes ... CW Walker
Matthew Dubas Matthew Dubas ... Salesman
Taylor Schwencke Taylor Schwencke ... Young Wendy Walker
Jillian Lindig Jillian Lindig ... Mrs. Tuttle
Bill Irwin ... Pastor Bud
Alden Rosakranse Alden Rosakranse ... Tim
Taissa Farmiga ... Teenage Corinne Walker
James Noon James Noon ... Kirk
Kaitlyn Rae King Kaitlyn Rae King ... Teenage Wendy Walker


Vera Farmiga's directorial debut, HIGHER GROUND, depicts the landscape of a tight-knit spiritual community thrown off-kilter when one of their own begins to question her faith. Inspired by screenwriter Carolyn S. Briggs' memoir This Dark World, the film tells the story of a thoughtful woman's struggles with belief, love, and trust - in human relationships as well as in God. Written by Sony Pictures Classics

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Vera Farmiga (Corinne Walker) and Joshua Leonard (Ethan Miller) also starred together in Quid Pro Quo (2008). See more »


At the therapist's office, the wall clock is clearly not working as the second hand is not moving. See more »


I Need Thee Every Hour
Written by Annie Sherwood Hawks and Robert Lowry
Arranged by Alec Puro
Performed by Jorgen Jorgensen
See more »

User Reviews

an opinion from a Christian viewer
29 June 2012 | by khemassSee all my reviews

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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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

1 March 2012 (New Zealand) See more »

Also Known As:

This Dark World See more »

Filming Locations:

Kingston, New York, USA See more »


Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,495, 28 August 2011

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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