The Healer (2017) Poster


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Arango threw a curve ball, and a lot of people missed the pitch
A_Different_Drummer18 November 2017
The first thing that everyone missed is that this is an "auteur" movie, that is, the writer and director are one and the same.

The significance of that is important.

Canada, since the launch of its film sector in in the 1980s via tax credits, has built a solid and reliable industry by being essentially the "Walmart" of the sector. Constantly undercutting Hollywood prices (because of the cheaper Loonie) has kept the cash flowing.

And the Canucks have also taken hostage obscure sectors of the business that no one else was paying attention to. For example, 90% of all the so-called "X-mas" films you have seen in the last 20 years were Canadian-made.

Finally, Canada is where most once-successful franchises go to die. When you see a horror franchise or action franchise on its very last legs -- think Freddy Kruger IX or something like that -- chances are it is Canadian made.

So, against this odd backdrop of entrepreneurial spirit, it is rare and refreshing to see an auteur express a vision that is not a knockoff of something else.

And that is the key. This film is an original, it is like nothing you have seen. It takes place in one of Canada's most picturesque (showcase) small towns but it is not a small town piece like Doc Martin or Gilmore Girls or even Corner Gas. It has elements of faith but it is not a "faith-based" movie. It has elements of a rom-com yet without the "rom."

Again, an original.

And it is technically perfect. The script is solid. The acting from the leads is excellent, especially the often-overlooked Jonathan Pryce. (Secondary characters are hit and miss, which unfortunately is the curse of Canadian film making.) The story holds the attention. The questions raised are interesting. In many ways the film revisits issues from the blockbuster hit Resurrection (1980) but in a much subtler way.

It is solid workmanlike entertainment and deserves a better rating than most members have given it.

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Life needs a little magic
meyuk4 November 2017
This is one of those films that exists to give us a light-hearted look at life.

It has all the ingredients of a story that gets you nodding in agreement, shaking your head in annoyance and smiling at the feel-good sections.

You may also feel your eyes filling up at times because the mix draws you in and pulls at your emotions.

So, settle down comfortably, get a box of tissues just in case, and enjoy a movie that has some mystery, a 'not so bad' baddie, minimal sex, no swearing and a fairy tale story line.

Well worth a viewing.
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Good hearted, emotionally fulfilling movie that is surprisingly good
cmhouser11 November 2017
I didn't have much hope for the movie based on the actors as they're not well known... however I'm very glad I took the time to watch it. Oliver Jackson-Cohen played a very good role for this well written, somewhat emotionally tugging (in a good way) script.

There isn't anything specifically that will jump out to you or blow you away, however by the end, you'll feel very rewarded by what comes to light as the overall reason the movie was written and produced has one of the best undertones I've seen from anything in movies recently. There isn't a huge God based message in the movie, despite being about faith and something bigger.

Overall, I think Paul Newman would absolutely give The Healer a thumbs up. Most will be happy they spent the time to watch and feel emotionally rewarded for their time. Despite this movie not costing much to make, it's certainly one of the better flicks I've seen this year.
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We take fun seriously
nogodnomasters28 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Alec (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) has not achieved much in his life as he approaches the age of thirty. An uncle he doesn't know offers to pay his debts if he spends a year in Nova Scotia. Reluctantly Alec accepts and becomes a healer, a gift he doesn't want. Add a romantic element and a little girl with terminal cancer and you have the story.

The film starts out whimsical and stops short from getting too heavy or too religious. Worth a view, especially if you like Lifetime type films.

Guide: No swearing or nudity. Implied sex.
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Amazing movie
alerestlessangel21 May 2017
I went to see The Healer last night and I walked out of the movie theater with the biggest smile on my face. The movie is so inspiring. It tells the story of a man who has the gift of healing and who is battling with his own demons until he realizes what truly matters in life.

This movie is a must-see. Paco Arango did a wonderful job! You cannot miss it.
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Awesome Film
mikelicari1 October 2018
I did not know what to expect, but this movie had me roght from the start. Excellent story, great writing, great cast, great acting, interesting locations, it had me crying and laughing. What more do you want?
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Healing abilities
jimenacasillas25 May 2017
The movie The Healer is a great example of who we are and what we are able to do to make a change in society, but if we don't realize that we have the power to make a better world, we are condemned to be victims of what is happening all around us. Make a change in someone's life: smile at them, greet everyone, do your job, forgive others.
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Good Cause AWFUL acting
manxplex9 June 2017
Since the beginning of the film you realize how cheap is the acting, the plot is very predictable "magical power of healing", the story is boring AF, the only good part of this movie is that All profits for this film go to charity, but why make a crappy movie if you want to help charity, I simply don't get it. I don't recommend this movie at all unless you want to help with your money to the charity.
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Goosebump Movie
nowego9 June 2018
I put off watching this move for quite a while and now I regret it a little. This is a fun feel good movie, not from start to finish, but pretty close. I am not religious in any way, but I have been a spiritual person for most of my life and this really made me feel good. The actors all did a great job and I had goosebumps nearly all the way though the movie. They are really hitting me now as I type this review.

Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Camilla Luddington, Jonathan Pryce, Kaitlyn Bernard and all of the cast who featured in Halifax, Nova Scotia made this a really worthwhile and fun movie to watch.

Healers do exist, they just don't advertise themselves.

Very highly recommended movie.
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Waste of time, even on a boring day
corrupteddivinity14 November 2017
So I thought I'd have a lovely weekend coming, got this film to watch with my boyfriend on a rainy, cold November Saturday night and... what a disappointment. The main character is quite unlikeable, keeps repeating the same phrase that everyone is mental around him, doesn't even want to comprehend what's going on. The little girl that appears later in the film played well, yet her character came out of nowhere and the scenes they wanted to create with her and the main character (that were supposed to be heart-warming and sweet) were more cringy than what they were aiming for. The film had a lot of potential but it was ultra boring and dragging for too long. Don't recommend.

PS. Maybe I feel this way about it because I watched it before my period.
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uninspired attempt to make a cheesy family movie
hevig7 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
So a guy who is interested in nothing, suddenly gets healing powers in a small Canadian town. Spoiler: confusion, wining, aaaand he refuses to accept this gift. Then a dying girl who seems very much full of energy, comes to change his mind. Let me guess, the lesbian vet isn't lesbian at all and all ends well at the end of the movie? Let's find out.

I bet those actors were disappointed when they watched the end cut. I just saw the imprisonment scene and it was so .... well let's say it was clear what it was supposed to be (a cheesy 90ties feel slapstick scene) but it just couldn't even cut that. The scene was embarrassingly unimaginative, as if it was leaning heavily on either an established funny atmosphere or movie mojo - which is simply not there. The "home alone" kind of punch line music was there, but the funny bits weren't. That kind of describes this movie. The actors are mediocre, but everything else is profoundly unable to deliver. Lice the directing which looks the part at first sight, but the director allowed for flat, dull performances without pushing the actors to do better. Perhaps in the mind of a 10 year old - a simple one, to be specific - this movie totally makes sense and is quite amusing. To me, sadly, the intended fun, and the entire movie, is like a cheap Chinese electronic gadget - a poor quality copy that can't hold a candle to the real thing, and makes you sorry for wasting your money.

I can't wait - no, I actually I can wait to see the other half of the movie (watched an episode of Rick and Morty just now because I was at risk of boring out), and nothing remotely interesting has happened yet - aside from seeing the delightful Camilla Luddington on my screen, which is a bit of a treat.

Then the revelation scene. Random shots of a beach, dragonfly and birds, and then the lead actor struggling to find some credibility while refusing the gift which was bestowed upon him (by God, no less). He has exactly one day to decide if he wants it or not. Sigh. The back story is razor thin, and the nice looking Camilla Luddington can't prevent the viewer from experiencing a massive downer, when the last hope for betterment is shattered now that it is clear this movie is only getting worse.

This opens the door for a new sport: how bad will it get? Will it be in fact bad enough to be a "So Bad, It's Good" movie? So I put my hopes into that folly, and maybe Camilla Luddington will lose some clothes, or do something hot, if only to try to compensate for this idiot of a movie.

Everything is badly underdeveloped. The story, the characters, even the animals. There was ample opportunity though, had there been brought some brightness, some creativity to the table. By timing the cuts just slightly witty, directing the actors for better expressions, it would have been a much better movie. But it isn't.

The editing is so bad it makes me carsick.

The film hits a new low when Amelia is having fun on a farm, and "Faith" from George Michael is playing. "Well I guess it would be nice, if I could touch your body" - suggesting the underage, dying girl should be touched or touching a body, at least introducing a sexual motive to this scene... it felt very wrong, the director must have forcibly rejected all of the warnings that kind people gave him, to let this one through. He probably intended to have the audience only hear the phrase "I gotta have faith" in a non-sexual way but hey, the song is what it is.

I just looked at his profile and damn, this guy put a white line on the inside of his lower eyelids for dramatic effect. Also I see he has been doing mainly acting, then managing (all in Spanish), and now directing and writing this film. That explains.

The movie ended as was anticipated, and then a mentioning of children's camps and Paul Newman kind of leaves me feeling like a dick for dishing this movie. But then again, it seems kind of cruel to raise hope in terminally ill children, like this film appears to target.

End credits.The entire production crew has Spanish names. Okay, that was it, adios.
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You can serously give it a chance...
zoelekes28 July 2018
6,2 is a bit little avg. rate for me but sadly this is understandable. Honestly I actually liked this movie but there are some problems with it .

Pros: - The film is really CUTE, and this is the perfect word for it - The movie didn't even want to get an Oscar price or something like that so not perfect at all but it's lovely. <3 Motivational, emotional and kindly <3 - This kind of films often has a sad ending, and often the people don't like it. In this case the ending isn't sad cause of the twist and the ending is more like motivational - Everybody thinks the main character is so unlikeable, but this isn't true.. a bit cringe but that's all Contras: - The producer didn't like the linear storylines and he didn't even want to work with it,
  • You have the feeling after 1 hour watching the movie: "This is like something's prelude."

In total: There are two option: you're gonna like this film as much as I do or you're gonna hate so damn much
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An unwanted gift for him, but not for the others!
Reno-Rangan24 February 2018
I don't think this was made from the religious perspective. I really liked the initial parts. It was nothing new, but such initiation always intrigues about how the rest of the film would turn out. Of course it was a comedy, but beyond that there's emotion. A young man is offered to clear his debts, in return he has to do what was told, that he has to spend a year in his ancestor's rural place in Canada. He's sent to there with a purpose. He ignores after learning about it, but when a young girl with cancer meets him, he could change his mind. So what happens next was a predictable twist, but a good way to end.

I don't mind watching Christian films. Because most those I've watched does not promote the religion. Instead, it revolved around people who believe in it. That makes us to understand them better. This was almost a similar one. I'm a big fan of tearjerker flicks, so expected that moment. But it was decent. That kid part helped to establish the film even better. I almost liked the film, except in the end, it all fell apart. Like it was waiting to change the neutral stance to religion. Otherwise, it is a nice film. That's why it failed to get a different sect audience. Still, fictionally, it can be an enjoyable one.

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Touching and disapointing
xaviervela_l22 July 2018
I have seen so many positive coments that I feel that is necessary to post mine. The movie is funny and quite touching, even when the argument is so absurd (usual movie that contains unexplainable things that start happening suddenly and that creates the perfect plot without having to think about how could that be posible...), actually I didn't care how absurd it is IF it is well done, but it disapointed me. The plot is extremely predictable (even obvious), doesn't even have a moral, not one that isn't a mainstream already at least, Disney movies are less predictable and have deeper teachings.

I give it 2 stars because it promised so much and didn't give anything at the end, just the typical and predictable mainstream movie.
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A modern It's a Wonderful Life, with (often subtle) humor in every scene
goslonomo12 July 2017
Indianapolis, October 26, 2016: From the opening shot of The Healer, you know your eyes will be in for a treat. Set mostly in Nova Scotia, the film reeks of depth and richness, with breathtaking scenery and Nathan Wang's full-orchestra score. Featuring a heavily Canadian cast with a couple known stars, the family film has just the right mix of intrigue, mystery, folksiness, humor, and spirituality to defy classification and emerge as an uplifting reason to go to the movies. Oliver Jackson-Cohen's character, Alec, gets in financial trouble with the wrong people in his native England, and an eccentric long-lost uncle bails him out, provided he spends a year in a different world, which happens to be Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Arriving with nothing (and no cell or Internet access) Alec is forced to land on his feet, a process aided by Cecilia, a beautiful but unavailable large-animal veterinarian, played by Camilla Luddington (Grey's Anatomy). Alec finds out he has inherited a gift of healing, a gift he must accept or reject by a certain deadline, and he rejects it, yearning for a quiet year to pass before he can go back to his gambling and his nightlife in London. Of course, circumstances intervene, especially in the person of the perfectly-cast 14-year-old Canadian actress Abigail (Kaitlyn Bernard), whose parents have heard of Alec's healing powers and drive "from seven hours away" to have their daughter cured of cancer. He refuses, but the girl takes him aside and explains that he needs to go through the motions with her for the weekend, for the sake of her parents. She knows he's not a healer, but her parents couldn't take it if he didn't at least pretend to try! The weekend is rife with touching sequences, embarrassing moments, mystery, a fat angry priest with a man bun and a tenuous hold on his faith Jorge Garcia), townspeople who believe (and don't), humor and an arrest for murder. We are enthralled by the clever dialogue, and our eyes, soon accustomed to the richness of the camera work, start looking for the sight gags that appear throughout. If you've watched for more than three minutes, and haven't seen or heard something that made you smile inside, you weren't paying attention. In fact, to an alert watcher, The Healer provides unending mirth, but director/writer/producer Paco Arango doesn't beat the audience over the head with his sense of humor – you'll see it if you're looking and it can be your private pleasure. Little circumstances around the film also make an interesting story. Abigail, the young girl with cancer, got her character's name from the daughter of a Canadian Film Commission administrator, who helped Arango navigate the processes and funding of the Canadian film industry. Paco's dog, Batman, couldn't be left back home in Spain during the filming, so he has a significant part in the script – and a credit. And at the end of the film, there is a closeup of young Abigail, riding in the back of a pickup truck on the way to rejoin her parents, as Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwoʻole's Somewhere Over the Rainbow plays in the background. The Canadian film lady cried uncontrollably at that scene, Arango told me. It turns out that her own little now-departed Abigail sang that song at her high school graduation. Arango told me he always wanted to be a healer, himself, and that the film fits so well in its setting because he went to Nova Scotia first, and then wrote the screenplay. "My dream was to have that gift," he said. And in his way, he's living it. Paco Arango has volunteered in hospitals for fifteen years; all his films support worthy causes. The Healer's profits – 100% of them – are going to Paul Newman's summer camp for kids who, because of sickness or disability, can't go to a regular summer camp. All the profits go to Serious Fun Network. That's not smoke and mirrors, either: earlier Arango movies financed the largest children's bone marrow transplant facility in Europe. His example has already borne fruit: Now-17-year-old Kaitlyn Bernard has started her own foundation for kids, Just Breathing, in her native Vancouver B.C. The Healer premiered at the Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis in October, 2016. Is it a little corny and predictable? Sure, like It's a Wonderful Life was. But that won't stop you from feeling good when you see it. And you will, if you do.
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Bad movie with a main unlikable character
chevolek29 December 2017
This movie could have been an enjoyable movie, but unfortunately is more like a fantasy movie.It is not a family movie as it reads on imdb as it talks about infidelity, homosexuality, cursing, etc. The main actor is truly annoying and unlikable. Not the actor´s fault I think.

Many scenes were non believable (not all because of the fantasy thing but for other reasons). Many scenes were dumb.

I couldn´t keep watching it as it bored me. I was hoping to enjoy this movie as our society lacks of positive family movies and comedies. This could have been one of them.
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Entertaining but confusing
janielukie12 November 2017
I bought "The Healer" from a Christian movie store in Kampala, Which gave me an impression that it was a Christian movie, portraying Christian values. I must say I was disappointed by the very shallow and delusional content on Christianity contained in the movie. Worse still it seem to condone sin e.g Fornication, Lasibiansm, adultery... I think the movie would have been great if it was focused on fighting cancer.

Thank you for the opportunity to give feedback.
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