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Amazing Grace
Wednesday, 20th June, 2007 Posted by Beren @ 19:19:36

The other week I was able to get to see Amazing Grace at an advance screening. It’s set to be released in late July across Australia, although in has not yet been confirmed as to whether or not it will get on any screens in Tasmania. Hopefully it does, and preferably not only in the Hobart cinema as its so awful. But, we will see what happens.

I won’t say too much about the film as I am mindful of spoilers on a film that is not yet out. But I will say a few things. Firstly I really enjoyed the film. It’s probably one of the better period films in recent memory, and the fact it’s on someone that I admire (having lived near Wilberforce – NSW – as a child I knew who he was, and I am still a fan) makes it a real bonus. For comparison to another recent film that had a Christian character in the lead, ‘Luther’ disappointed me (and most Christians I know). On the whole it was not good story telling or movie making. Amazing Grace doesn’t suffer from this. It is a much stronger film, and still holds true to William Wilberforce as a person. So if you were likewise disappointed by Luther, you should find this a much more enjoyable film. If you thought Luther was great, then either you are about to have a real treat, or your taste in movies is… not the same as mine.

The movie covers a period of about 20 years while he campaigned for the abolition of slavery. Unlike other films which try to cover a large time period (Fellowship of the Ring’s first 20-30 min covers a larger time period but you don’t even notice) it does a pretty good job of expressing it. You definitely get the feeling that a sizeable amount of time passes, although this is impart to it non-linear story telling. Although perhaps my one criticism of the film is that often a time jump will occur without a subtitle like text saying what year the viewer is now in.

One of the things that surprised me about the film was that at time there were some genuine funny moments. The acting on the whole is also pretty good; Michael Gambon (as Lord Charles Fox) was extremely good. The film also expresses well the problem and the effects of slavery on the lives of humans in the time, but also the blind complicity of much of the populace.

So on the whole I recommend everyone see’s this that can get to a theatre to watch it (and I am sure it will also end up in Social Studies class rooms in the not too distant future). Supporting films like this is pretty important for getting more of this variety (christian themed films with good production quality).

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