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Religion as a subject for movies can be very tricky. On the one hand,
some people often dismiss out of hand any movie that has a religious
theme. They think of them as nothing more that an effort at
proselytizing and preaching. Many people avoid these movies like the
plague. However, on the other hand, over the years many movies with
religious elements have been made which won wide acceptance. The epics
such as The Ten Commandments come to mind, but also along the way there
have been historical little movies that manage to be appealing to a
wide audience in spite of their religious themes. Movies like Boys
Town, The Bells of St. Mary and The Song of Bernadette come to mind.
These are movies that inspire and uplift us, but also entertain us at
the same time. The Work and the Glory is a worthy new entrant into this
The Work and the Glory can't avoid the subject of Mormonism. That is what it's about. So they just present the Mormon facts honestly and sincerely, without preaching, or excuses, or embarrassment. The movie is about the founding of the church by Joseph Smith as seen through the eyes of the fictional Steed Family. Their introduction to Mormonism and Joseph Smith causes family rifts and tensions that provide the dramatic action for the movie.
The movie is beautiful; with wondrous cinematography, a glorious soundtrack, solid acting by a professional cast and exquisite attention to period detail. (This period in US history is sandwiched between the American Revolution and the Civil War and hardy ever gets any attention. This movie transports you back to that age and time splendidly and effortlessly.)
The love triangle between the two Steed brothers and the wealthy merchant's daughter are genuinely and tastefully portrayed, but the real genius of the movie lies in its depiction of the almost reluctant person of Joseph Smith. The boy who saw the vision, and almost against his own will and at great personal peril, was selected to be the vessel for the founding of Mormonism.
He has a very human spirit and an accessible warmth that is very appealing.
There is nothing of the austere and pompous personality you would expect in a religious icon.
Anyone, Mormon or not, who wants to be enthralled by a beautifully staged, historically significant slice of Americana would do well to see this movie.
You shouldn't let your prejudices, pro-Mormon or anti-Mormon color your experience. Just let the movie wash over you and take your breath away. It's worth it.
I am not a mormon, but have heard of this movie and wanted to see it. I
thought it was beautifully done, full of texture and depth visually.
Not being a mormon, I was afraid it would not be interesting. But it was. I liked the story line, and the plots that were developed within the story. I thought the character of Joe Smith was played well, innocence within his mission.
But I thought the character of Nathan Steed was brilliant. He had intensity and made me really care about his love for Lydia and the conflicts in his family. Wow. I researched the guy, and he is a newcomer to the screen. I can't wait to see him in more films.
I also liked Joshua. He had a look about him that enhanced the conflicts in the story. I felt that the subtlety of their acting (his and Nathan's) made the story more real, and helped to enhance the uniqueness of the character of Joe Smith.
I've read the books and I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, so I'm hopelessly biased. But I thought the movie was great! The acting was, for the most part, very believable; the issues were realistic; the scenery was beautiful. I thought Jonathan Scarfe did a very convincing portrayal of Joseph Smith. It was a surprise to me to learn he is not a member of the Church. I believe his ability to carry off the role says a lot about the excellence of his acting skills. This is the first film (with the possible exception of Other Side of Heaven) that I have seen that deals with Mormonism and hasn't left me feeling like, "Well, they gave it a good try." I was really caught up in the story and enjoyed it very much.
Went with my family to see W&G. I haven't read the whole series but still enjoyed the movie more than I expected to. It was by far the best movie in its genre to date, but still not up to Hollywood caliber. The cinematography and sets was very good and some of the actors were really impressive--especially Joseph and Benjamin. Others did well although at times felt forced. But no cheesy acting which was a relief. Although one or two scenes felt a little too preachy for my taste, overall I thought the spiritual topics were handled tastefully. Especially those moments I would have most wanted to be handled respectfully--i.e. the retelling of the first vision. I'll likely go see it again.
The movie was as great as the the book it was based upon. I sincerely
hope they make the rest of the series into movies as well.
The Work and the Glory has beautifully captured the hopes, fears, and prejudices of that era, and woven them into a fictional account as only Gerald Lund can do.
The entire cast was wonderful, and they couldn't have picked a better actor to play Joseph.
Emotions run high in this film, and you'll find yourself laughing, crying, and wanting to shout for joy.
If you are looking for a great movie with good family values, this one is certainly worth seeing.
I was so happy to see that the story line hardly changed at all! These
books have been some of my favorite since I was in 5th grade. I thought
that everything was wonderfully done. The actors outdid themselves, and
it came together very nicely. In fact, it was so good, I had to go see
I disagree about the movie being bland. The first book in it's self is not a climatic book. It is more of a character introducer. Photography was great, story line was great, acting was great, and I would recommend this movie to anyone and everyone! I think we can expect great things to come from these movies.
An enjoyable movie. The story is well told with very few exceptions,
and the characters are moving and likable. Good sets, very good period
work, and very good acting from all involved. Also nice creativity in
directing the film. It generally felt like a quality cinematic work,
and it did a good job of eliciting emotions and spirit.
I actually would've preferred another 20 minutes or so to help develop the characters a little further. The pace was good and the story engaging; there were just so much to tell, that at times one would've liked to see or know more.
I particularly liked the Joseph Smith portrayal - well and tastefully done.
I hope this one does well enough to warrant an even better budget for the next installment.
This was very well done and is obvious that a much larger budget was used than what is typically used on an LDS movie. The setting was beautiful and the acting was very good also. The actor that portrayed Joseph Smith left us with a greater sense of the kind of person he may have been and some of the persecution he endured (although I believe it was on a much larger scale than what was shone). The characters that played the part of the Steed family couldn't have been a better cast. I also enjoyed the occasional subtle humor that rounded out the movie. I will definitely add this one to my DVD collection when it is released. Go see it! Now, excuse me while I "go get some more eggs"!
I have read 6 of the 8 books in The Work and the Glory series and have been awaiting this movie. I thought the photography was excellent and the music was moving. The acting was good although Joshua Steed rolled his eyes and huffed just a bit too much in the beginning. But his blue eyes make you forget the bit of over acting.The costumes were great.I enjoyed this movie very much I hope that it is successful enough to make a sequel.The movie stayed very close to the plot of the book so as not to disappoint those of us who couldn't put the books down.I don't know where they filmed it but the landscapes were gorgeous. I liked the shot of Lydia Mcbride's walking up the hill it was beautiful.I have had fun looking up the actors to see what they have been in. Mary Ann Steed or Brenda Strong was a surprise to know that she was Sue Ann Mishkie on Seinfeld. What a versatile actress she is.She did a great job as the mother of the Steed family.
Several years ago, when the LDS Church presented the 70mm LEGACY at the
Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City, I was drawn
back to see it several times. That film, which ran around 60 minutes,
had, so the grapevine said, been edited down to that length from a much
longer first cut. After seeing it I had wished that a longer version
could have been prepared and somehow shown. Well, THE WORK AND THE
GLORY has all of the beauty and power of LEGACY, plus the added
strength that it gains with a 110 minute length.
THE WORK AND THE GLORY is a beautiful film in everyway. The cinematography and score rank with the best that Hollywood has done. However, it is the script, direction and acting that make the difference in a film like this -- the heart and soul that goes beyond the surface look -- and the film shines in all departments.
Word-of-mouth from members of the LDS faith will carry this one further then any other independent LDS themed movie to date. I have not read the books that the film is based upon, but I would predict that those who have will be very pleased with what they see on the screen. And those who have not read them (like me) will drawn in by the power of the story and its masterful presentation.
I truly believe that a new era for LDS cinema has been ushered in with this film.
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