One day in my 17th year, I woke up and realized God did not exist. It was as simple as that. The morning before, the universe had a divine creator and sustainer; the next morning, the universe was just the universe, stars just stars, planets just planets, people just people. Nothing was behind or beyond reality. My thoughts recently returned to this moment in my life, the moment I broke with the Christian view of the cosmos, because of Vera Farmiga's superb Higher Ground, a film about a woman who one day believes in God and one day does not believe in God.

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This is her story, this is her song: Corinne (Farmiga) is raised in a small town by a normal family, she attends a normal school, she falls in love with a normal guy (he wants to be a rock star), she eventually gets married to this normal guy, and she has a normal baby and the husband dumps his rock dreams and gets a regular job—breaking rocks. One night, their baby is almost killed in a car accident and, understandably, the young and existentially shaken couple sees their baby's bit of luck as a miracle, a message from beyond: God saved their child. They join an evangelical community and devote their lives to a moral mode that was established 2,000 years ago.

The family grows, attends picnics, sings beautiful Christian songs ("How Great Thou Art," "It Is Well with My Soul," "Jesus Is the Sweetest Name I Know"), and shares lessons from the Bible with other members. Then one day, Corinne notices something is missing from her soul and the world around her. Her spiritual crisis becomes a crisis for the family and the church. And what's brilliant about this serious-sounding movie (the discovery of faith, the loss of faith, the search for new cosmic meaning) is that it's a comedy. Farmiga turns out to have a wonderful sense of humor and comic timing. One hopes that she will spend more time behind the camera. recommended