Disgusted with the policies of King Charles I, Oliver Cromwell plans to take his family to the New World. But on the eve of their departure, Cromwell is drawn into the tangled web of ... See full summary »
This is a dramatization of events in the life of St. Francis of Assisi from before his conversion experience through his audience with the pope, including his friendship with St. Clare. Written by
Ed Cannon <email@example.com>
Some comments about the DVD, the screenplay, the actor.
Just a few comments to add to the many fine comments already written by people who like this movie, as I do.
The DVD is very good overall for its quality of sound and color. The subtitles include neither any Latin, nor the lyrics for any of the songs performed by someone off-screen; but the captions are nearly perfect, including all the lyrics, and lacking only the Latin. The following numbers about the shape of the screen are my own best guesses. The original movie was presented in a 1.66:1 (about 5:3 = 15:9) aspect ratio, but the DVD version is made to fit a modern 16:9 wide screen (about 1.77:1, though a previous reviewer gives 1.75:1 as the ratio for the movie). In order to do this, 1/16th (about 7%) of the vertical had to be shaved-off the original movie; some was taken from the top, and some from the bottom. This definitely hurts a few of the scenes, but overall people who like this movie should be very happy to have the DVD.
In the scene just before the meeting with the pope, a former friend of Francis chases after him and tries to convince him not to go to Rome. The former friend begins to insult Francis and his way of life. This short speech is excellent writing, as is much of the rest of the screenplay. It ends with this: "You just saunter out of your house one fine morning and pluck God out of the air, as easily as catching a butterfly. It's all too simple!" This line may not have been nominated for the AFI top 100 list this year, but it is one of the finest I've ever heard in a movie. (I don't know whether it is original with this screenplay or was borrowed from tradition.)
Some lay-order (Third Order) Franciscans told me that they object to the role of Francis being done in this movie by a gay actor. Other people object to Francis being portrayed as a flower-child. My own understanding is that indeed there is no reason to think that the real Francis was gay; and that he was probably not so pretty or so much like a 1960s flower-child as presented in the movie. But I do not agree with those above-mentioned objections: the movie does a very good job of dramatizing in a lyrical way the spirit and times of Francis.
11 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?