higher ground vera farmiga

Higher Ground

Vera Farmiga

Directed by Vera Farmiga
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 3.5
Community: star rating
5 3.5 0
August 25, 2011

High praise for Vera Farmiga, a stunner of an actress, who makes her directing debut with the same bold instincts for sharp humor and harsh truths that mark her performances. Higher Ground is based on a memoir by Carolyn S. Briggs about her life in an evangelical Christian community. Farmiga's Corinne Walker, played at a younger age by the director's look-alike sister, Taissa Farmiga, finds God when she and her rocker husband rejoice after their baby daughter escapes death. Corinne is eager to believe. She is also naturally curious about everything, including sex, which quickly puts her at odds with the church, if not her rebel BFF, Annika (the wonderful Dagmara Dominczyk).

Without buying into blind faith, or condescending to it, either, Farmiga crafts an honest portrait of spirituality in flux that most filmmakers shy away from. Farmiga expertly guides a large and gifted ensemble cast and proves as fearless a director as she is an actress. She lights up Higher Ground and makes it funny, touching and vital.

The 12 Must-See Summer Movies — Plus Five Unheralded Gems and Five More to Skip
The Best and Worst Movies of 2011 — So Far

Movie Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “American Girl”

    Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

    It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

    More Song Stories entries »