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Lara Flynn Boyle,
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The Biblical story of Joseph, who was sold to slavery by his brothers who were jealous of his prophetic abilities to analyze dreams and of his being their fathers' favorite. Written by
As a teacher of ancient history with an earned doctorate in Biblical theology, I must compliment the producers of 'Joseph' for doing the impossible: staying faithfully true to Biblical text, and holding the attention of young and old alike for three hours.
'Joseph' captures the power, pathos, and splendor of the greatest of Bible characterizations--Joseph, the hated brother, becomes not only lord over his entire family, but the second most powerful man in the ancient world. Ben Kingsley, as he did in 'Moses', and Martin Landau (as Jacob) steal the show, but Paul Mercurio does an admirable job as the main character. Vincenzo Nicoli is outstanding as the vengeful brother Simeon, and, as the last to confront the powerful Joseph--now his savior, Nicoli does nothing less than reduce us to tears.
The film is also true to the many nuances of Egyptian and Hebrew history, which most audiences would neither notice, nor care to notice; yet, such nuances prove highly effective! To note the Egyptians' penchant for cleanliness, and to depict Joseph's famous coat as not necessarily 'many colored' shows the expert research which went into this film.
Although some explicit (though historically accurate) sexual scenes must be screened from the very young, this film captures not only the drama and climactic ascension to a powerful emotional conclusion, but also the characterization of moral goodness so extant in Joseph. I watched 'Joseph' with my middle school students, and as they busily synthesized their thirty or so 'characteristics of a role model' into an essay, one of them asked why there were no such heroes today. The question at once revealed not only the impression this film made, but also the perceptive dearth of role-models in our modern society.
Though including a few anachronistic liberties (such as Joseph's "My God, my God..." paraphrase of Christ's cry from the cross, 'Joseph' is a winner! It is THE best of the TNT series, of which only 'Jacob' was a flop. Kudos for the direction, musical score, and casting directors; they are well-deserving of the awards which this film has earned. To quote Potifer: "...what matters most is the truth", and 'Joseph' delivers it with Biblical reverance and Hollywood expertise. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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