“The Shack” feels like a sugar-coated salve for wounds sustained from the flurry of recent news events. Directed by Stuart Hazeldine and starring Sam Worthington as a grieving dad, the big surprise in this religious fantasy story is the presence of Japanese actress Sumire Matsubara (who goes by just her first name in Japan) in the role of the Holy Spirit.

Octavia Spencer, an African-American actress, plays Papa (the Almighty) and Avraham Aviv Alush, an Israeli actor, plays Jesus Christ — it seems that Christian Hollywood is singing the praises of diversity.

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