In 1797, William Wilberforce, the great crusader for the British abolition of slavery, is taking a vacation for his health even while he is sicker at heart for his frustrated cause. However, meeting the charming Barbara Spooner, Wilberforce finds a soulmate to share the story of his struggle. With few allies such as his mentor, John Newton, a slave ship captain turned repentant priest who penned the great hymn, "Amazing Grace," Prime William Pitt, and Olaudah Equiano, the erudite former slave turned author, Wilberforce fruitlessly fights both public indifference and moneyed opposition determined to keep their exploitation safe. Nevertheless, Wilberforce finds the inspiration in newfound love to rejuvenate the fight with new ideas that would lead to a great victory for social justice. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
The scene where William Wilberforce sings "Amazing Grace" at the card house was actually directly sung from Ioan Gruffudd at that moment. In the last several takes, a playback was used, but it is Ioan singing. Director Michael Apted had no idea whether or not Gruffudd could actually sing. Little did he know, Ioan is an accomplished soloist and choir singer. With a little practice, Ioan performed for the first time on set while the cameras were rolling. All much to the surprise of the cast, crew and director. See more »
At several points in the movie we see handshakes, notably Wilburforce with other MPs. Handshaking was popularized by John Adams in America to replace bowing, which Adams considered submissive and not fitting a government of the people. Handshaking did not arrive as an accepted form of greeting in Great Britain until much later (some say the 1850s). See more »
I saw Amazing Grace on Thursday at a private showing. The film has everything that I love about theater...passion, conflict, struggle, faith, redemption and grace. The story is true... making this film one of reality and substance. The struggle to rid the world of slavery has been a black mark against humanity. The British are to be applauded as the leaders in this journey to freedom. The actors' performances were incredible. Albert Finney's portrayal of John Newton is an Oscar possibility. The scenes were period and perfection. Even the dark mood of the times were reflected in the lighting and how the director portrayed the message of bondage. Go see this film...acquaint yourself with this powerful story and this man William Wilberforce. I rate it a 10!
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