“Former Bama DB Caleb Castille provides authenticity as (Tony) Nathan and a starry supporting cast (Jon Voight as Bear Bryant, Sean Astin—aka Rudy—as the evangelist) gives the film a glossy film,” she wrote.
Fenwick concluded that, no matter what the audience’s religious affliliation might be, Woodlawn contains an important “universal truth.”
“Winning is sweeter when you play for a larger cause,” she said.
Ironically, Fenwick’s review is on the same page as the magazine’s popular “Faces In The Crowd” segment that for decades has featured notable athletes and coaches from across the country. It was that same section in which Tony Nathan appeared during his senior year at Woodlawn High School.
A gifted high school football player must learn to boldly embrace his talent and his faith as he battles racial tensions on and off the field in WOODLAWN, a moving and inspirational new film based on the true story of how love and unity overcame hate and division in early 1970s Birmingham, Ala.
Tony Nathan (newcomer Caleb Castille) lands in a powder keg of anger and violence when he joins fellow African-American students at Woodlawn High School after its government-mandated desegregation in 1973. The Woodlawn Colonels football team is a microcosm of the problems at the school and in the city, which erupts in cross burnings and riots, and Coach Tandy Gerelds (Nic Bishop) is at a loss to solve these unprecedented challenges with his disciplinarian ways.
It’s only when Hank (Sean Astin), an outsider who has been radically affected by the message of hope and love he experienced at a Christian revival meeting, convinces Coach Gerelds to let him speak to the team that something truly remarkable begins to happen. More than 40 players, nearly the entire team, black and white, give their lives over to the “better way” Hank tells them is possible through following Jesus, and the change is so profound in them it affects their coach, their school and their community in ways no one could have imagined.
Watch the Official [HD] Movie Trailer for WOODLAWN:
We’ll see you at the movies.
IN THEATERS OCTOBER 16TH
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