The Golden Voices: The Key to Forgiveness—Prayer (Movie Review)

John FarrellBy John Farrell5 Minutes

When the administration at Terrell Christian College learn that the most prestigious choral competition in the country—the Golden Voices Competition—has chosen their campus for its annual contest, everyone is excited. That excitement is short-lived when they realize they have a big problem—they currently don’t have a choir.

The monumental task of building a winning choir with eight to thirty-one talented singers falls on the stooped shoulders and sore back of the college’s head of the music department, Georgia Mae Jackson (Irma P. Hall) in the 2018 film, The Golden Voices.

From the beginning, Jackson is at odds with Assistant Dean Vickie Wilson (Tonea Stewart). Wilson, who has a penchant for sneaking powdered donuts, tries to force Jackson into retirement with the intent of making her own son the head of the music department. Wilson and Jackson make a deal: if Terrell Christian College doesn’t win the Golden Voices competition, Jackson must retire immediately and recommend the Dean’s son as her replacement. If they do win, Jackson gets a $10 raise and full control of the music department.

Meanwhile, Jackson’s granddaughter Sidney (Nikki Dixon) is down on her luck. She gets fired from her job and learns that she has to evacuate her apartment because of a water leak in the ceiling that ruins all of her belongings. Her landlord puts her up for two nights in a run-down motel while they work to fix the problem. However, when she arrives at the motel, she finds out that her reservation is really only for one night.

At the motel, she runs into Jax Rebel (Mario Mims), an old R&B singer with an immoral past who has fallen on hard times. She immediately recognizes him and tries to talk to him. He wants nothing more than to be left alone. When she continues to attempt to speak with him, he has her kicked out of the motel for harassing the guests.

With nowhere to turn, she movies in temporarily with Jackson. Also living with her grandmother is her father who is unable to feed and take care of himself due to years of drugs and alcohol followed by a stroke that left him paralyzed.

Unable to round up a choir due to her back, Jackson turns to her granddaughter to take over the college’s choir. Sidney has two months to put together a choir worthy of winning the Golden Voices competition.

When their best male singer quits, Sidney and her overly enthusiastic helper Camille (Ashley Burks) are stuck in a bind. Sidney, however, has an idea. In exchange for a meal of his choice, Jax agrees to listen to what Sidney has to say. She asks him to join the choir, which would require him to enroll at the school. Jax storms out with pizza in hand, only to reconsider the next day.

Back at home, Sidney refuses to talk to her father, much to the disappointment of her grandmother. She doesn’t know how to forgive him for what he put her through as a 15-year-old girl who had just lost her mother.

It’s not until a conversation she has with Jax on the front porch of her grandmother’s house that she realizes what she must do. When she tells Jax that she doesn’t know how to forgive her dad, he tells her to pray about it.

Jax then offers this advice: “You only have power, if you have peace. And Sidney, you deserve peace.”

The Golden Voices features beautiful and soulful vocals that will have you waving your arms, swaying in your seat, or dancing in the aisles. The acting from the three leads (Hall, Dixon, and Mims) is top-notch, especially Hall’s delightful and often humorous portrayal of the Jackson family matriarch.

The best part, however, is the theme that runs throughout the movie: the power of prayer. It’s often hard to forgive those who have hurt you the most, but going to prayer about your situation will always put you on the path to forgiveness.

To find out what happens when Dean Wilson learns about Jax’s past, what becomes of Sidney and her Dad’s relationship, and who won the Golden Voices competition, you’ll need to check out The Golden Voices.