The life and conversion of C.S. Lewis are brought to life in what was largely considered the best faith film of 2021.
C.S. Lewis may be best known for his gripping fantasy adventure through Narnia, but the author’s life story makes for equally compelling viewing. In 2021, Lewis’ life and faith journey were put into focus in a hit film titled The Most Reluctant Convert: The Untold Story of C.S. Lewis, which achieved critical acclaim in just one day in the theaters. Now this personal look at one of the most influential Christian writers of the 20th century is available to stream on Pure Flix.
Originally intended for a one-day release in theaters, the film unexpectedly garnered instant success, breaking $1.2 million in the box office. This led the creators to extend the theatrical release and facilitated special releases in Canada and the UK. Audiences have responded especially well to the film, which commands an 89% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The biopic follows many of the events that shaped Lewis’ faith from adolescence to young adulthood and beyond. While each stage of Lewis’ development features a different actor, the star of the show is Max McLean, a 20+ year veteran stage actor who portrays the middle-aged Lewis. McLean was uniquely suited to the job, because he has covered several works of Lewis in live theater productions, including The Screwtape Letters.
In an interview with CBN News, McLean explained that there were many events in Lewis’ youth that led him to a bleak view of God, such as losing his mother to cancer as a boy and experiencing the horrors of World War I trench warfare first hand. McLean said that the turning point came when Lewis contemplated the nature of the universe:
“He said his argument against God … was the universe was so cruel and unjust,” McLean said. “But then he asked himself, ‘Where’d you get this notion of cruel and unjust? You call a line crooked because you have some idea of a straight line.’”
McLean went on to note that Lewis’ continued contemplation on such mysteries would eventually lead Lewis to argue for the truth of the Gospels:
“If it is untrue, no honest person will want to believe it,” McLean explained, citing Lewis’ beliefs in presenting evidence for the Gospel. “If it is true, every honest person wants to believe it. It all hinges on Jesus.”
Written and directed by two-time Emmy and BAFTA winner Norman Stone, who directed the 1985 biopic Shadowlands on Lewis’ life and marriage, The Most Reluctant Convert presents a faithful account of Lewis’ life created by a team that prizes Lewis’ works. Back in 2019, while the film was in development, Stone told NCR:
“You don’t get so close to someone like Lewis, in order to tell his story with empathy and understanding, without his life and words having a deep impact on your own faith and understanding.” Stone added, “And it was the freshness of his thinking — his take on life and faith with his becoming a Christian, in spite of all his erudite, atheistic objections — that impresses.”
The Most Reluctant Convert: The Untold Story of C.S. Lewisis available to stream right now on Pure Flix, a streaming service that provides faith and family-friendly content. Pure Flix already has a catalog of inspiring films and shows that extend far beyond the works of just C.S. Lewis. Visit Pure Flix to learn more about The Most Reluctant Convert and begin broadening your faith viewing today.