While movies, from a studio perspective at least, are mostly about commerce—you don’t spent $250 million on something simply for the sake of art—once they’re out in the world, they take on all kinds of different lives. Films have the ability to transport us to places we’ve never been, to open our minds to different perspectives, to entertain, to instill new passions. The power of cinema is alive and well, and for some who are suffering from crippling or debilitating diseases, they offer a respite from the pain, however briefly.
In the lead up to the release of Deadpool, star/superfan Ryan Reynolds connected with a 13-year-old named Connor McGrath who, as part of the Make-a-Wish foundation, got to meet Reynolds and be the first person to see a rough cut of the movie. Connor and Reynolds struck up a friendship and met up again a few weeks later, but sadly Connor passed away this week.
In an incredibly touching tribute, Reynolds took to his Facebook page to write about his friendship with Connor. It’s an emotional story, and it’s also a reminder of the power of cinema. It’s easy to lose sight of this when the internet is congested with vitriolic debates over the merit of Batman v Superman or whatever blockbuster happens to be the subject of the latest “hot take,” but at the end of the day films belong to all of us, and their impact transcends silly squabbles or flame wars.
Read Reynolds’ heartfelt tribute below.