Anything Is Possible: Music, Military Families & Faith (Movie Review)

Lisa HollowayBy Lisa Holloway7 Minutes

Anything Is Possible is a well-made inspirational family film starring Lacey Chabert as Maggie, a military mom who goes missing. Musical prodigy Ethan Bortnick plays the central character, 10-year-old Nathan. He also co-wrote the film’s incredible soundtrack with producer Gary Baker.

In a sea of movie choices, what sets this one apart? First of all, it is suitable for the whole family. It doesn’t slip in profanity, violence, or other iffy behavior. Additionally, the main characters are all well-acted, and production is smooth. And although the movie isn’t faith-centric, it is faith-friendly.

Despite some potentially heavy themes, the feel of the movie is overwhelmingly hopeful and focused on what really matters in life. Ultimately, the characters will not only discover that “anything is possible,” but also that God gives good gifts—and He gives them with purpose.

What’s It About?

Anything Is Possible tells the story of a dual-military family. The dad, George (Jonathan Bennett), is on medical leave, and it’s suggested that he has PTSD. That’s why Maggie, who’s also in the Army, deploys for a tsunami response in Japan.

Because of the military’s logistical capacities, military units often deploy to cooperate in humanitarian work worldwide. Typically, however, when both parents are military members, only one of the parents will deploy at a time—a policy that ensures ongoing coverage for childcare, but that can make relationships truly difficult to maintain.

During the response, however, Maggie goes missing. Shortly after, George and Nathan are not only dealing with their worries for her, but also with bureaucracy. Social workers soon arrive to remove Nathan from George’s custody when they find George—the only dad Nathan has ever known—isn’t his biological father or legal guardian.

Because of this, young Nathan runs away to the city. There he meets Captain Miles, a goodhearted homeless veteran who keeps an eye on Nathan. He sends the boy on a “mission” that puts him in the path of the local orphanage … and a way back home.

What Really Matters

The movie introduces some difficult issues, including problems unique to military families, PTSD, homelessness, and peer pressure. But what really stands out is what this movie chooses to highlight amid those moments.

For instance, on the eve of Maggie’s departure, we see young Nathan making a video. He’s recording some of the family’s special, silly moments together—telling what they love best about each other. After a lot of joking around, Maggie finally says, “My favorite thing about your father is that he loves you as much as I do.”

It’s a great moment. And what could be “just” a video turns out to be pretty important once Maggie goes missing. Those last moments together are something both Nathan and George come back to over and over in the days following.

The film also does a great job of showing how people who might ordinarily seem powerless can be heroes. Homeless Captain Miles protects and guides Nathan while he’s out on the streets. A young girl named Jesse offers him shelter and friendship. And because of the difference they’ve made in his life, Nathan is able to step forward—even though he’s just a kid—and use the musical gift God gave him to help the struggling orphanage.

What It Says About Faith

But is it really true that anything is possible?

Maybe it’s a question of where you place your faith. In Matthew 19:26, we find that “with God all things are possible.” Then in Matthew 17:20, we also find that with “faith the size of a mustard seed” (Matthew 17:20), God makes us able to do even things that seem impossible.

Sometimes we struggle with faith like that. When grown-up George says, “Anything is possible,” you can see that he wants to believe, but he has doubts. His sense of reality gets in the way of wholehearted belief. He forgets that life doesn’t simply happen to us while we passively exist. We each take hold of the abundance God has for us through what we grab onto in faith.

This is why Jesus encouraged His followers to come to Him with the faith of a child. And that’s exactly the supernatural faith Nathan steps out in when he says those same words and walks forward to make things better for people he cares about.

Certainly, the story is fictional and this military family’s struggles find a happy resolution in a relatively short period of time. But the life lessons are still there and still matter for anyone who wants to live meaningfully. Here are a few:

  • Don’t wait until your situation or your family is perfect to enjoy each other. Those moments of love will help carry you through when things get hard.
  • Believe that God made you well (Psalm 139) and gave you good gifts to use to bless the people around you in ways that matter.
  • Know that anything really is possible with God. Step out boldly in faith that God will answer you when you call out to Him (Isaiah 65:24) and do mighty works.

In the end, everyone matters. Everyone can be a hero. It’s all about choosing to make a difference and really believing that “anything is possible.” That’s what we see in this film.