Surprised by Success: C. S. Lewis Biopic, THE MOST RELUCTANT CONVERT, Streaming on Pure Flix

Screenshot via CS Lewis on Stage – The Most Reluctant Convert Trailer on YouTube

Surprised by Success: C. S. Lewis Biopic, THE MOST RELUCTANT CONVERT, Streaming on Pure Flix

By Movieguide® Contributor

The 2021 biopic, THE MOST RELUCTANT CONVERT: THE UNTOLD STORY OF C. S. LEWIS, was initially scheduled for a one-night only theatrical run, but was met with such an overwhelming turnout that it became a box office success and extended its theatrical run. It’s now available for steaming exclusively on Pure Flix.

Max McLean, who portrays an older Lewis in the film, said: “We are grateful to partner with Pure Flix and believe the story of C.S. Lewis’ journey from vigorous debunker to committed Christian will resonate at a deep level with Pure Flix’s large audience.”

The movie also stars Nicholas Ralph as the younger Lewis and is directed by Norman Stone, and written by McLean and Stone, has certainly proven that it resonates with audiences today.

Stone told The Guardian: “[P]eople can particularly relate to Lewis in the bleak times of Covid-19, just as they did during the Blitz, listening to his famous BBC radio talks: “Those broadcasts were so successful Pub owners were saying ‘quiet everybody, Mr Lewis is on’ … They’d all tune in. He talked in a way that they all understood, explaining his faith in the context of hardship and the war.”

McLean previously opened up about his spiritual similarity to Lewis. Movieguide® previously reported:

McLean was also an adult convert to Christianity and credits Lewis for helping him “navigate the Christian faith in a way that’s deep,  that’s profound.”

“Being an adult convert, you bring a lot of doubts and baggage with you because … belief is hard,” he told The Christian Post. “People that are raised in a faith, their souls, their conscience are formed. That belief becomes an integrated part of who they are. An adult convert has to undo so much. And Lewis had the same experience. So he just helped guide my way.”

McLean has been adapting Lewis’ works for the stage for the last two decades, bringing Lewis’ writing – and his message – to life. His work on this film has been a triumph. While there are darker themes that might make it unsuitable for children, overall it’s a wonderful movie about accepting Christ’s love – for Christians and non-Christians alike. 

McLean’s portrayal garnered several positive reviews, including Movieguide®’s.

According to the Movieguide® review:

THE MOST RELUCTANT CONVERT is a drama about how C.S. Lewis went from being an atheist to one of the greatest defenders of the Christian faith in the 20th Century. It opens with Max McLean nervously checking his script, and then walking onto the set, where he becomes C.S. Lewis reminiscing about his conversion. Some scenes are re-enacted with actors. The movie details Lewis’ sad childhood, his exploits during World War I, and his life at Oxford University, where he encountered Christians. By 1929, Lewis reluctantly became a theist, and by 1933, a full believer in Christ, and one of the most influential Christian apologists of all time.

THE MOST RELUCTANT CONVERT is moving and inspiring. Max McLean does a terrific job as Lewis, and the actors bring the story alive. THE MOST RELUCTANT CONVERT is a tremendous movie to show to non-Christians. The movie is probably not for young children with the death of the mother, the collapse and lack of a father’s love, the horrors of World War I, and other elements, but, for teenagers and above, it’s a great movie.

THE MOST RELUCTANT CONVERT was also nominated for a Movieguide® Award for the Epiphany Prize for Most Inspiring Movie.

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