Upon the conclusion of “Ordinary Angels,” we’re presented with one of those enlightening moments where real footage echoes the climax of the film. This is truly beneficial.

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Without this, one might be inclined to believe the filmmakers had concocted a story too sentimental and encouraging to be real. However, this account of how one resolute woman inspired her community to assist in saving a dying young girl largely unfolded as depicted.

Despite the captivating source material, “Ordinary Angels” is one of those movies wherein you can anticipate developments with assurance. You sense when the phone is about to ring with a pivotal call. You perceive when a character is on the brink of losing patience, signaling the obligatory Moment of Conflict. And you foresee when an alcoholic is bound to relapse, even prior to the shot of the beers in the fridge.

This predictability can be detrimental for a film, but “Ordinary Angels,” helmed by Jon Gunn, possesses a critical advantage — Hilary Swank. It’s not without reason, we are reminded, that Swank has clinched two Oscars. With her inherent groundedness — even in extravagant hair, fringed jacket, glittery gown, and pink heels — she can lend authenticity to most any scenario. She infuses what might have been simply a tear-inducing emotional drama with its inherent spirit, yes, but more importantly its significance.

Initially, we encounter Ed, a Kentucky roofer (Alan Ritchson, dependable and charming). Via flashback, Ed welcomes his second daughter at the hospital with his wife, and the loving couple christen her Michelle. However, fast forward five years, and Ed’s wife is succumbing to a congenital disease. A devastated Ed vows to care for the girls.

Now we encounter Sharon (Swank), a single hairstylist with a estranged son. She’s also what they refer to as hard-living, which means we meet her at — where else? — a bar, where she dances on the counter, takes shots, and falls down, ending up as a mascara-stained mess. Her discerning friend Rose — there’s always a discerning friend — compels her to attend an AA meeting, but Sharon still won’t acknowledge herself as an alcoholic.

Nevertheless, she does receive some valuable advice at the meeting, where a man recounts learning to “find a reason to be here that’s bigger than you are.”

As if on cue, Sharon stumbles upon an article in the local paper about a 5-year-old girl — Ed’s daughter Michelle — whose mother has just passed away and who now requires a liver transplant. Sharon shows up unannounced at the funeral, then confides in Rose at the salon that she believes her purpose is to procure the funds for the transplant.

Meanwhile, there are substantial hospital bills, and Ed is unable to afford them. Without seeking permission, Sharon organizes a fundraiser and arrives at the house with several thousand dollars in cash. Ed is understandably bewildered by this woman who soon dines with the family. However, his mother, Barbara, embraces Sharon warmly. “Mom, she’s a mess,” Ed comments. “Exactly, she’ll fit right in here,” Barbara responds.

Certainly, they are in need of funds. For one hospital stay, Ed, lacking health insurance, is billed over $6,000 (the scene serves as an endorsement for socialized medicine). Soon Sharon is sitting down with Ed, going through all his bills, categorizing them as “urgent” and “very urgent.” (“Daddy’s in over his head,” remarks elder daughter Ashley.) Sharon also aids Ed in promoting his roofing abilities.

However, Sharon is grappling with difficulties in her own life. Her estranged son, embittered by her alcoholism during his childhood, rebuffs her attempts to reconcile. Sharon’s sentiments to him, even when conveyed by the always-authentic Swank, are cliché: “I know I disappointed you,” she remarks. “Being a single mom ain’t easy.” The formulaic screenplay also leaves us pondering when, an entire hour into the movie, Ed inquires about Sharon’s past: “Married? Kids?” One would assume that would have surfaced much earlier, but fine.

There is a back-and-forth dynamic between Ed and Sharon, wherein the latter may be an angel but lacks boundaries. She masquerades as his sister to call and ascertain what he owes the hospital. Yet subsequently, she persuades a group of hospital executives to absolve hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. Ed is moved to tears, but then Sharon oversteps, infuriating him by summoning a news crew to the home without consent.

Sharon experiences a foreseeable relapse with alcohol, but then the stakes are intensified significantly for the culmination of the narrative. A new liver for Michelle is within reach, but the family requires a private plane to transport her — during the infamous Kentucky Blizzard of 1994, the most severe in state history. Sharon requires more miracles and the entire town needs to come together to assist.

Once more, all of this would appear contrived if it hadn’t actually occurred. We won’t divulge the conclusion, but this is an inspiring anecdote, so you can anticipate feeling inspired. Fortunately, Swank is present, nearly single-handedly elevating the material to a level that sustains your interest. And at times, for a good cry at the movies, that’s genuinely all you require.

“Ordinary Angels,” a Lionsgate release, has been given a PG rating by the Motion Picture Association of America “for thematic content, brief bloody images, and smoking.“ Running time: 116 minutes. Two and a half stars out of four.