Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg creates the social networking website that would become known as Facebook, but is later sued by two brothers who claimed he stole their idea, and the co-founder who was later squeezed out of the business.
A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man who is mistreated while scraping a living as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous facade, there is revealed a person of intelligence and sensitivity.
The retelling of France's iconic but ill-fated queen, Marie Antoinette. From her betrothal and marriage to Louis XVI at 15 to her reign as queen at 19 and to the end of her reign as queen and ultimately the fall of Versailles.
The story of Oscar Wilde, genius, poet, playwright and the First Modern Man. The self-realization of his homosexuality caused Wilde enormous torment as he juggled marriage, fatherhood and ... See full summary »
Biography of Martin Luther, the 16th-century priest who led the Christian Reformation and opened up new possibilities in exploration of faith. The film begins with his vow to become a monk, and continues through his struggles to reconcile his desire for sanctification with his increasing abhorrence of the corruption and hypocrisy pervading the Church's hierarchy. He is ultimately charged with heresy and must confront the ruling cardinals and princes, urging them to make the Scriptures available to the common believer and lead the Church toward faith through justice and righteousness. Written by
There are many instances when actual quotes are used by the characters. This includes Friar Tetzel's "Coin in the coffer rings a soul from Purgatory springs" as well as Luther's "Here I Stand" speech. See more »
After Tetzel burns his hand in the fire, the long shots show him raise both his hands and the burn is gone. See more »
The title of Bryan Adams' song "Can't Stop This Thing We Started" aptly
describes this 2003 retelling of the story of Martin Luther. The film
basically depicts Luther as a good Catholic, loyal to the Pope but
horrified by the scandals and corruption that plagued the 16th century
Church. He is even more horrified when his effort to reform the Church
gets out of control, is co-opted for political purposes, and becomes a
popular revolution with the attendant carnage and bloodshed.
I suspect Luther has been highly romanticized here. For one thing, the
film follows him from age 34 to 50, yet (as embodied by the angelically
handsome Joseph Fiennes) he never ages a day. His relationship with
Katharina von Bora seems astonishingly chaste -- no struggle with the
lusts of the flesh for this pious monk! His demons are of a different
kind. We see scenes where Luther seems plagued by demons, thrashing
about in his cell, hearing unseen voices. (I know Luther was
manic-depressive, but I hardly think he was a madman.)
The film provides a good summary or outline of the major events of
Luther's life and times: the selling of indulgences, the Ninety-Five
Theses nailed to the door of Wittenberg Church, the Diet of Worms (a
council presided over by Emperor Charles V), the Confession of
Augsburg. The costumes accurately reflect historical reality. If I have
any quarrel with the film in this regard, it is that it does not
adequately mirror a key factor in the struggle between Germany and
Rome: the principle of "cuius regio, eius religio". In other words,
local princes and kings imposed their own religious beliefs on the
peoples they governed.
The cast is a constellation of stars, veritable luminaries, including
Sir Peter Ustinov in one of his last roles as Frederick of Saxony. The
actors are uniformly excellent in their roles, and the dialogue is well
written. The photography is somewhat static, leading me to believe this
film was made with television in mind -- albeit of the highbrow kind,
in the Masterpiece Theatre tradition.
Still, if anyone asked me if I recommended "Luther", I would reply as
he did at the Diet of Worms: "Here I stand. I can do no other. God help
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