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Galilée ou L'amour de Dieu (2005)

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The Dialogues, Galileo's masterpiece, were published in 1632 with the approval of Catholic censors. It was applauded by intellectuals but nevertheless aroused the Church's ire. Despite his ... See full summary »

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Title: Galilée ou L'amour de Dieu (TV Movie 2005)

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Credited cast:
Daniel Prévost ...
Le pape Barberini
Le jésuite
Pascal Elso ...
Le dominicain
Pierre Vernier ...
Laurent Malet ...
Beneto Castelli
Alexandre Zloto ...
Mario Guiducci
Maître Marino
Adélaïde Bon ...
Claude Allègre ...
Récitant / Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jean-Marc Cozic ...
Le frère Segeri


The Dialogues, Galileo's masterpiece, were published in 1632 with the approval of Catholic censors. It was applauded by intellectuals but nevertheless aroused the Church's ire. Despite his continued insistence that his work in the area was purely theoretical, despite his strict following of the church protocol for publication of works (which required prior examination by church censors and subsequent permission), and despite his close friendship with the Pope (who presided throughout the ordeal), Galileo was summoned to trial before the Roman Inquisition in 1633. During this interrogation Galileo stated that he did not defend the Copernican theory. A scientific and theologic fight began between Galileo and his three prosecutors. Galileo had the bigest difficulties to hide he deeply considered the Copernic model could be the good one. The church, leaded by dogma, went on arguing about his convictions. The trial lasted several monthes. The Inquisition held the final hearing on Galileo, ... Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

7 January 2006 (France)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Un amour accablant (portrait of a stifling epoch).
14 February 2009 | by (Capital, Buenos Aires, Argentina) – See all my reviews

Galilée succeeds at giving us a glimpse of the best the Inquisition could offer: a high minded trial of a genius by a bunch of fanatics. The chief inquisitor "Daniel Prévost" (CI from now on) is very good at his now unlikeable role. When he contains the uproar of le dominicain "Pascal Elso" near the end is a good example. I find a nice touch that he did Le concierge at the masterful comedy "Tenue correcte exigée" (1997). The best scene is probably when one of the writers by hand at the trial experiments the "heavier objects fall as fast as lighter ones". Then, when G's view is proved but he's seen by the Inquisitors, he dutifully resumes his work, unassuming (and he risked quite a lot by doing so!). Proving that "there was rebellion at the farm" :). When the American astronauts repeat the same experiment but on the moon (thus proving its universal validity) we feel some sort of Justice...

The actor that plays G. is very good in that it'd be very easy to fall for the contemporary view, and depict him with all the "victories", witty and modern, while the judges would be stupid, fat and yes, balding :). In fact, besides the latter point, although it's obvious by the usage of music at "critical" points, the gros plans, the ending "editorial", the lack of sympathy and heavy "dead" makeup of all the inquisitors, etc that the director had a "taken position", it's not unbearable nor totally didactic in the opposite sense.

G is alive. Sometimes, the inquisitors have good replies. G is sometimes very naive, can be vain, and is a tad sentimental at times. But his rhetoric is very good, like when he proves them with an experiment that "heavier things", the Jesuit cries: "it's devilish", then G. addresses the head and tells him to prove it himself, and then do it as often as they like. The Jesuit's -a fearful "F. van den Driessche" objection of T. Brache showed at least he was "a la page" with science. Unlike the dominicain, who doesn't have any nuances, not even using his theology much, somewhat repeating all the time the "appeal to authority" fallacy. CI is right at telling him to stop quoting his friendship with the pope. But G's appeal to the common experience of lost friends by the plague to the CI is effective, it's probably the only moment you see him feel anything close to empathy.

If there's something to be learnt from this stories, some "clear lesson" for our everyday lives, is how hard it is to really prove anything to an adverse audience.

If in Science, with such a genius in front of them, these Inquisitors, surely the biggest heads the church could produce at the time, were blinded by emotion, who many times do we, in our cozy modern technological times, just don't listen to the arguments and yes to our own prejudices? Maybe we're having a Galileus in front of us, and we just wouldn't notice. How do you think the future will judge most if not all of our current beliefs?

The locale is great, stunning at times. Like the palace's square, at night, when they leave. And the ending at the tribunal, with the verdict! How did they get such locations for a play that was definitely not "very catholic" is a mystery to me, but it feels reassuring to see a real palace after all this FX in about every expensive movie. Here even the gallows seem real. Speaking of which, I'd have liked the subject of torture to be treated a bit more. Like his disciple, whom somehow we know he was in danger, but whose destiny is barely mentioned.

PS: Women are almost absent from this movie, but I suppose it's not illogical given the little role they were given at that not that distant time.

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