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|Index||23 reviews in total|
16 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
Christian Bale is the shining star, 27 January 2004
Author: MyNameInLights226 from Indiana, USA
In a movie full of bad directing, costumes, makeup, sound, effects, and acting, I must say that Christian Bale gives one of his best performances of his career as Jesus. He made the successful transformation from child actor to respectable adult actor, making his role as Jesus of Nazareth one of his most touching and emotional roles of his brilliant acting career. It is safe to say that in an otherwise bad movie, Christian Bale is the shining star.
13 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
Good intentions, but only so-so, 19 November 1999
Author: Tin Man-5 from Auke Bay, Alaska
"Mary, Mother of Jesus" is a TV-attempt that features actors so sincere and
so powerfully moving that you almost wish that the movie would just get out
of their way and let them act in the way they all know they can!
Telling the life of Jesus (Christian Bale) through the eyes of Mary (played by Anakin Skywalker's mom in "Episode One," by the way), the film in itself is very fast-moving and very paper-thin. Unless the viewer is familiar with the biblical depiction of Christ, he or she will be unutterably lost in this account, since the scenes move so fast and it never leaves the watcher any time to really grasp what's going on. Jesus doesn't even begin his ministry until the last hour, and then, we barely get a look at his disciples and miracles before he is arrested and crucified. And his resurrection is so underplayed, it could have easily been straight from a bad episode of "Touched By An Angel." I don't know....As a Christian, I just feel thst my Savior deserves more than this.... The idea of the emphasis switching to Mary is nice, but couldn't they have stretched this out to a miniseries to make it a little more coherent?
The film effectiveness, however, lies in the cast. Christian Bale is convincing as Christ, bravely presenting him as a Divine figure with love for everyone. He also presents a human side as well, emphasizing on his need to talk to God and his desire to be with his mother even though he knows he cannot. Bale has always been an underrated actor in my book, and his performance here is very nice, though rather underplayed, since he has little to work with. It would have been nicer to see more emphasis on Jesus in this....but nay, it isn't to be: This is a movie about Mary.
Ah, Mary. Pernilla August is very nice as Mary as well, though a little innacurate. Due to the status of women back in the days of Christ, I doubt that she was such a daring revolutionary, and if she was, she wouldn't have strutted the fact around so much. I think she was just a normal, common girl who didn't seem worthy of God's selection....In this film, her assertiveness makes her the perfect, most likely choice. I would have rather seen played it the other way....It would have made a more interesting movie with her doubting herself, and then Jesus filling her, his own mother, with hope and he filled others with hope. But, once again, not enough time to establish this, and the lack of characterization bogs the film down....especially with an actress so promising for the part.
Is it worth watching? For the performances, yes. However, as far as true emotion and power of the story goes, the viewer is better-off watching "Jesus of Nazareth."
**1/2 out of ****
8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Cliff Notes for the Bible, 15 November 1999
Author: Matthew Ignoffo (email@example.com) from Eatontown, NJ, USA
This TV-movie is well-intentioned but mechanical. I knew from the opening
that there was a problem with the production when the opening narrative
printed on the screen and read at the same time with a voice that sounded
like the station-break announcer.
The film just goes through the motions and gives us every cliche of second-rate Biblical movies including Jesus as a fair-skinned Anglo-Saxon. Christian Bale does what he can with the material but is terribly mis-cast. His mother is presented as a politically-correct feminist who apparently is responsible for Jesus' teachings and parables which were, according to the plot, the bedtime stories she told Jesus when he was a child.
The sets and costumes are good, but the performances are flat and perfunctory. What we get here is a shallowness reminiscent of school plays. The Gospels are condensed into a 2 hour TV movie that has the profundity of a Readers' Digest version of the Bible.
9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
interesting interpretation of Mary's life, 15 May 2003
I found this a refreshing and thought-provoking interpretation of how Mary
lived and what kind of a person she was. It was great to break the mold of
the mousey, demure, glowing, silent waif. This Mary was a feisty activist
without being harsh or stepping over the line.
Also, it is feasible that she taught Jesus some of the stories he later told, so thinking about her shaping role as his mother was also intriguing.
Of course, Jesus did have a mind of his own - God's mind - which Mary only shared in part, and I would have liked to have seen him stand more firmly on his own two feet and take more authority, during the picture. I also wonder about the healthiness of this very intimate, mutually-dependent mother-son relationship. It is not impossible that Mary was there at Jesus' baptism.... Lots to think about, from her perspective and the silence of the Bible on such matters. All in all, not a bad version of Christ's life, through Mary's eyes. Just wish Jesus and his disciples were stronger, as I feel the Gospels represent them.
7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Exceptionally well-done, 18 November 1999
Author: shorsies from Somewhere, USA
This movie was brilliantly made and delivered a profound message. I thought Pernilla August did a wonderful job of displaying emotions and being able to get an audience to empathize with her. Christian Bale's representation of Jesus was passionate and compelling. He did an excellent job of portraying Jesus in His later years and helping give viewers insight on what He went through. I enjoyed the idea of this movie putting emphasis on the relationship of Mary and Jesus, showing that even the most powerful person of all time remembers His mother and to love and care for her the way she did from the moment He was born. This movie was definitely unique and I hope to see more that are as great as this.
4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Compete and utter rubbish, 12 December 2006
Author: Gregory72 from London, ON, Canada
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Firstly, this movie is overly-ambitious in the amount of material
covered. Cramming Christ's entire life (and Mary and Joseph's
relationship beforehand) into a 90 minute movie doesn't do justice to
any part of it, and at times it feels like a series of
loosely-connected skits. Some fairly important things aren't shown at
all such as the scourging of Christ (he just appears before the crowds
with a crown of thorns and robe) and his conversation with the thieves
who were crucified with him. His trial is quick and simplistic, and the
Emperor doesn't seem interested in the outcome all (and Barabas doesn't
seem like a very bad guy either).
Also, the acting is extremely poor overall. Honestly, it is the worst that I have ever seen in a religious film - a mixture of wooden, bizarre and exaggerated performances. This is the angriest Jesus that I've ever seen - he's in a rage even when he's on his way to be crucified. I guess that's why he only falls down once. Mary has a mean streak too, as evidenced when she calls the disciples "cowards".
Then there are the revisions, and misinterpretations.
First, we have James as the actual brother of Jesus (because, after all, that's what it says in English). Mary, we learn, is instrumental in Jesus' ministry - she teaches him the story of the Good Samaritan as a child, for instance. This is fairly harmless, and makes for a touching scene (Mary is best as a loving Mother), but then we are shown Mary as the only one who witnesses the Ascension (though in the movie, Jesus simply fades away).
We also see Mary state that Jesus told her that woman are fit to lead because they raise our sons. Mary, not surprisingly is also the one who founds the Church (now she might have had some help from the Holy Spirit, but you wouldn't know it from the movie) and she must tell the disciples what to do (they are generally portrayed as useless when they are shown at all). So much for Peter being the rock...
With so many great movies about Jesus, I wouldn't waste my time with this movie (although it might make a fun game for a bible study group to see who could pick out the most errors). I recommend "Jesus of Nazareth" as a much more complete movie (at 6 hours, the scenes play out properly) with well-portrayed characters (not surprising, given the cast) and no serious problems.
5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Could've been better, 15 October 2000
Author: mu5iclover from nowhere
When I watched it, I was filled with expectancy of a well-written and well-acted movie. The movie was well acted. The actors and actresses did a good job, especially Christian Bale. But the movie itself struck an ill-placed chord in me. The producers and directors made this movie the Hollywood way. There were many things that wasn't right, that didn't come from the scriptures. They could've followed the biblical story of Jesus and Mary and Joseph better. That's just my opinion.
5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
It sacrificed more than it gained, 29 June 2000
Author: David Downing (David.H.Downing@comcast.net) from Paoli, PA
This was a good idea, but I had problems with the
execution. I felt this movie sacrificed more than
it gained. Because it limited itself to what Mary
experienced firsthand, it omitted huge chunks of
the story of Jesus (like, for example, the Last
Supper). If it had really developed Mary's
character, that would have been a decent trade,
but she comes a cross as a stock character whose
words and actions are predictable and unremarkable.
This could have been a good movie, but they didn't take the trouble to do it right.
4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Heart Warming, 14 November 1999
Author: doublec1 from Around, USA
I was truly blessed by this movie...and applaud the network and producers of the show for creating a wonderful truth. The characters were instructed and did a wonderful job with their roles. Then as I followed the movie I could mark in my Bible the events as they took place. Perfect! I want to see more.
4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Mary a little too much?, 20 December 2005
Author: longistoodthere from United States
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The movie was decent. Christian Bale seemed a little too young to be
33, or a little too emotional to be Jesus. The main thing that bothered
me, though, was the emphasis on Mary as being perfect. She should be
more emotional than Jesus. She should not always have this great
perspective about why he does or says things. In the Bible, she doesn't
say much at all. It is wrong to give her all these lines that make her
out to be something the Bible never implies that she is: perfect.
The only person who was ever without sin is Jesus. I think it would be much more interesting if someone made a movie in which they tried to show the difference between the perfect and imperfect by showing Mary as a fallen being and her son as perfect.
How great would it be to see Jesus honoring his father and mother who could not fully comprehend his wisdom? I think Mel Gibson watched this movie before he made his, because the relationship between Mary and Jesus is very similar in The Passion Of The Christ, as well.
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