Unsung Hero Image

Unsung Hero

By Bobby LePire | May 1, 2024

Unsung Hero is written and directed by Richard Ramsey and Joel Smallbone. Smallbone also served as a producer and starred as David Smallbone, the filmmaker’s real-life father. The story is autobiographical, about how the Smallbone clan almost lost it all. Suffice to say, this is a family affair through and through. But is it only a good story to tell amongst the family, or is there a compelling narrative for an audience of strangers to watch the nearly two-hour runtime?

David (Joel Smallbone) is a music promoter and manager in Australia who just caught a huge break: Christian superstar singer Amy Grant’s team has chosen him for her upcoming tour of the country. Unfortunately, said tour coincides with a recession, meaning it is a total bust. This leaves David on the hook for a hefty sum of money.

“…Mom, Dad, and their six children must take odd jobs to scrape by and cover the necessary bills.”

A new opportunity beckons David, but it’s in the U.S. of A., thousands of miles away from family and friends. His pregnant wife, Helen (Daisy Betts), agrees to uproot the entire family, but only with a few safeguards in place. And so it unfolds that Rebecca (Kirrilee Berger), Daniel (Paul Luke Bonenfant), Joel (Diesel La Torraca), Luke (J.J. Pantano), Ben (Tenz McCall), Josh (Angus K. Caldwell), and their parents, David and Helen, embark on a new chapter in the States. Unfortunately, David discovers that this monumental trek was all for naught, as the job went to someone else. Now, Mom, Dad, and their six children must take odd jobs to scrape by and cover the necessary bills. While the local church members are more than eager to help, David’s pride means he doesn’t want them to. Will the Smallbones land on their feet or are they forced to return home empty-handed?

Unsung Hero may include the discovery of Rebecca St. James and For King + Country, but it’s not about either of those Christian musical sensations. Nope, this is the story of their parents, David and Helen, and what they sacrificed to get their children all the opportunities possible. In that regard, the film is a compelling drama. Yes, there are the expected ups and downs of any entertainment industry tale, but the stakes feel tangible and personal for these characters. When David breaks down, realizing that a musician he’s worked with before now only sees him as the maid, it is heartbreaking. The emotional frustrations Helen goes through as she does her best to keep the family together are authentic and intense.

Unsung Hero (2024)

Directed and Written: Richard Ramsey, Joel Smallbone

Starring: Joel Smallbone, Daisy Betts, Kirrilee Berger, Paul Luke Bonenfant, Diesel La Torraca, J.J. Pantano, Tenz McCall, Angus K. Caldwell, Lucas Black, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Unsung Hero Image

"…sure to resonate with its core demographic."

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