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At The Movies: Good on ya, mates

“Unsung Hero” tells the story of the family behind Christian popular music singer-songwriter Rebecca St. James and Christian pop-rock duo For King & Country.

Rebecca St. James, who received a Grammy, Rock Gospel Album, for “Pray,” in 2000, is also an actress and author.

For King & Country, which has received four Grammy awards, in 2022 released the song, “Unsung Hero,” which is said to be about the family’s mother.

The movie, “Unsung Hero,” tells the story of the successful entertainers, siblings in a family of six who emigrated, with a baby on the way, from Australia to the United States in 1991.

The parents, David and Helen Smallbone, set their sights on Nashville, not necessarily because of the children’s music ambitions, but rather for the father’s acumen in the management, producing and promoting of popular music concerts, which he did in Australia before his business came crashing down during the Great Recession of December 2007 - June 2009.

The family, with a mason jar of dollars on the kitchen table and suitcases full of dreams, is befriended by the music director of a church they attend. The children earn money mowing lawns and cleaning houses. The father becomes a maintenance man at the mansion of successful Christian rock star, Eddie DeGarmo, a founder of Christian music label Forefront Records, a connection that pays off.

Meanwhile, financial pressures nearly tear apart the marriage of the husband and wife. The father must swallow his pride, put his ego aside and look to his family for the strength, belief and courage to carry on.

The movie quotes Mother Therese: “If you want to save the world, go home and love your family.”

Families who become pop-rock-gospel groups are legendary, among them: The Gaither Vocal Band, The Everly Brothers, The Ronettes, The Beach Boys, The Jackson Five, The Osmonds, The Cowsills and, of course, TV’s fictional, “The Partridge Family.”

The family that sings together, stays together. Not always.

“Unsung Hero” is a feel-good, uplifting and thought-provoking movie about not only the challenges and risks that a singer-songwriter or any artist must take in his or her career, but also the supportive environment, in this case a family of faith, that is necessary to nurture and promote talent.

Directors Richard L. Ramsey (Director, “The Song,” 2014; Director, TV’s “Plus One at an Amish Wedding,” 2022) and Joel Smallbone (younger brother of Rebecca St. James and member with his brother Luke Smallbone of For King & Country) work from a screenplay they co-wrote.

Joel Smallbone and Luke Smallbone are the younger brothers of Rebecca St. James, stage name of Rebecca Smallbone.

“Unsung Hero” unfolds in a matter-of-fact way, and with a tone of realism that makes the family’s perseverance and success all the more believable.

Daisy Betts (TV’s “Last Resort,” 2012-23) is a sunshiny presence as the mother Helen Smallbone.

Joel Smallbone (actor, “Priceless,” 2016) creates an irascible yet sympathetic character in portraying his father David Smallbone.

Kirrilee Berger (TV’s “One Dollar,” 2018) has an intense winsomeness as Rebecca St. James.

Noteworthy in supporting roles are Jonathan Jackson (Eddie Degarmo, Christian music producer), Lucas Black (Jed Albright, church music director), Candace Cameron Bure (Kay Albright, wife of Jed), Terry O’Quinn (James, the grandfather) and Hillary Scott.

The Aussie accents are adorable. “Good on ya, mates.”

“Unsung Hero” will be of chief interest to fans of Rebecca St. James, For King & Country and Christian pop music, and those who enjoy family dramas about persons overcoming obstacles.

“Unsung Hero,”

MPAA Rated PG (Parental Guidance Suggested Some material may not be suitable for children. Parents urged to give “parental guidance.” May contain some material parents might not like for their young children. for thematic elements.; Genre; Drama, Music; Run time: 1 hour, 52 minutes. Distributed by Lionsgate.

Credit Readers Anonymous:

Rebecca St. James has a cameo as a flight attendant in “Unsung Hero.” The soundtrack is by director-composer Brent McCorkle (Director, “Jesus Revolution”; Composer, “I Can Only Imagine,” 2018; Director, “Unconditional,” 2012).

At The Movies:

“Unsung Hero” was seen in the standard format at AMC Center Valley 16.

Theatrical Movie Domestic Weekend Box Office,

May 10-12: Movie-goers went ape for the “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes,” opening at $56.5 million in 4,075 theaters, as “The Fall Guy” fell from its one-week No. 1 perch, with $13.7 million in 4,008 theaters; $49.6 million, two weeks.

3. “Challengers” stayed in place, $4.6 million in 2,609 theaters; $38 million, three weeks. 4. “Tarot” stayed in place, $3.4 million in 3,104 theaters, $12 million, two weeks. 5. “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” stayed in place, $2.5 million in 2,531 theaters; $191.8 million, seven weeks. 6. “Unsung Hero” moved up one place, $2.2 million in 2,272 theaters; $16.7 million, three weeks. 7. “Kung Fu Panda 4” moved up one place, $2 million in 2,111 theaters; $191.1 million, 10 weeks. 8. “Civil War” dropped two places, $1.8 million in 2,204 theaters; $65.2 million, five weeks. 9. “Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace” dropped seven places, $1.5 million in 2,700 theaters; $12 million, two weeks. 10. “Abigail” dropped one place, $1.1 million in 1,641 theaters; $24.7 million, four weeks.

Movie box office information from Box Office Mojo as of May 12 is subject to change.


May 17:

“Back to Black,”

R: Sam Taylor-Johnson directs Marisa Abela (as Amy Winehouse), Eddie Marsan, Jack O’Connell and Lesley Manville in the Biography, Music, Drama about the late, great British pop-rock singer-songwriter and her hit song and album, “Back to Black.”


PG: Jack Krasinski directs Ryan Reynolds and Cailey Fleming and the voice talents of Steve Carell, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Maya Rudolph, Jon Stewart, Sam Rockwell, Sebastian Maniscalco, Richard Jenkins, Awkwafina, Louis Gossett Jr. and himself in the Comedy, Drama Animation film. A young girl sees everyone’s imaginary friends.

Movie opening date information from Internet Movie Database as of May 12 is subject to change.

Three Popcorn Boxes out of Five Popcorn Boxes

CONTRIBUTED IMAGE BY LIONSGATE The family that sings together: “Unsung Hero.”