Monday, March 19, 2007

Amazing Grace - Well named...

I recently read a review on another movie that seemed to lament "all these faith-based movies." It seems to me that Hollywood might accidentally be catching up with reality, instead. I don't know if AG was an indy or not, but you don't have to be Christian to be blown away by this movie.

Let me nit-pick just two things: This is so completely unfair of me, BUT... casting Mr. Fantastic from the Fantastic Four horrible movie as Wilberforce was a little off putting. For one thing I don't think he's a very good actor, not bad, just not good; for the other thing - as much as I hate stereotyping - I kept getting pulled out of the movie because I'd think "wow, this is fantastic" and get slapped in the face by an associative memory of rubber-guy in a bad movie.

Second nit-pick was using Wilburforce's illness to symbolize the on-going, toll-taking journey of the abolitionists. He did historically struggle with great pain, but it was his determination over years of failure upon failure that needed more development. As many MP's were brought to the light by Wilbur's unceasing argument - they all wore down long before he did - and I would have liked to see that. A few subtle touches like their wigs being more frayed as time went on while Wilbur remained kempt; eroding arguments (in the beginning, the opponents would drone on and on in argument. As time went by their arguments got shorter and shorter. In one instance, Wilbur ranted beautifully, and his opponent stood wearily up, searched for words, couldn't find them and just said "no."

Fox and Newton stole the show. In fact, the whole cast was stunning (except for the star. Daniel Day Lewis would have been incredible as Wilberforce), but they made up for him.

The audience applauded at the end, and so they should have.

A+ (I can't even bring myself to ding the rating for Ionne). A must-see for every American old enough to appreciate it.


Sherlock said...

I pretty much agree. but it is a history movie, so your average high schooler won't enjoy it as much as adults.