Kirk Franklin’s A Gospel Christmas (2021 Lifetime)

Kirk Franklin’s A Gospel Christmas (2021 Lifetime)

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Cast: Demetria McKinney, Chaz Lamar Shepherd, Kirk Franklin

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Synopsis (via Lifetime)

When Olivia (McKinney), a young assistant pastor, gets assigned to be a lead pastor at a new church a month before Christmas, she’s fearful she can’t manage the transition, including getting the choir ready to open the town’s annual Winter Jamboree. Banding together with her new congregation, Olivia discovers a new home for herself, and even finds a little Christmas romance along the way! Featuring a special appearance and songs written and arranged by Kirk Franklin. (2021)

Recap/Wine Thoughts

The movie begins, aptly, with a gospel Choir. Olivia is leaving her church to pastor her own church in Greenwood, Texas. It is news to Olivia! She is nervous about leaving the nest, but her mother tells her to “believe in God and listen to her Mama.” (Oh, she is also going in two days, right around Christmas!)

Olivia is welcomed by Miss Dee, who shows her around the church. Olivia is not impressed with the decor and thinks everything is a bit too much. Ten Miss Dee informs Olivia that she will be living with her temporarily.

Ashton runs into Olivia, and they share a burger together. She shares with him her nerves and admits this she thinks she is in over her head. Ashton reassures her and tells Olivia that he doesn’t know what he is doing half the time; it is best just to fake it. 

Sister Ida, the sister of the previous pastor, is not as excited as everyone else. She is upset because she thinks Olivia will change all the Christmas traditions and insists that Olivia sing like the old pastor. 

Olivia doesn’t want to sing because she has lived in her mother’s singing shadow. (Think Ashlee Simpson to Jessica.) She quickly realizes that she might need to sing at her first sermon when the choir is all over the place. Ashton’s mother is a showboater. So is Ashton, TBH. He sees a piano and just starts laying it down. 

Ashton is a failed musician turned real estate agent. Olivia tells him to direct the choir and whip them into shape. I’m not sure what he does, but Ashton really turns things around by simply playing the piano. We get a gospel montage, which might be the best kind.

Olivia, of course, sings in the church when she thinks she is alone. She is amazing. Ashton overhears her and encourages her to sing more. They start having a real romance talking about past trauma, and encouraging one another to be better. Olivia reignites his passion for music.

When the lead soloist loses her voice, Olivia has to step up and sing for the Christmas event. But, before that, she has a solo while remembering all the things that have happened in the movie. 

It is the big Christmas service, and Olivia kills it. Actually, the whole thing is excellent. Olivia’s parents think so! They tell Ashton to take the show on the road. He is going to be a professional 

Side Note

Minority Report: Good representation here. Black actors in front and behind the camera. 

The pre-recorded music sounded great, but the lip-syncing was not as good. 

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Christmas Trees represent the Christmas vibes. *** I’ve updated the rating system. Wine is overall enjoyment (NOT a value judgment) on a 1-5 scale.

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Overall rating

Christmas Feels

🎄🎄🎄 🎄 (4 Christmas Trees)

Enjoyment Level: 🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine.)

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*Photo Credit: © 2021 Lifetime

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