Arising out of the horror of the Spanish Civil War, a candidate for canonization is investigated by a journalist who discovers his own estranged father had a deep, dark and devastating connection to the saint's life.
An elderly Margaret Thatcher talks to the imagined presence of her recently deceased husband as she struggles to come to terms with his death while scenes from her past life, from girlhood to British prime minister, intervene.
Richard E. Grant
A young journalist long ago rejected by his now aged and dying father finds himself investigating one of his father's former friends, a candidate for canonization. Uncovering the two men's complicated relationship from childhood through the horrors of the Spanish Civil War unveils a compelling drama filled with passion, betrayal, love and religion. An action packed story set during a murderous time in history that ultimately serves the present by revealing the importance and timeless power of forgiveness. Written by
I had reason to spend several hours with and paying close attention to the views of the filmmaker, just before the film premiered in Spain; and I found both him and his thinking, truly, fascinating! I found it equally fascinating that a man who had, once, moved audiences with The Killing Fields and The Mission, should believe that this overly plain, almost amateur feel-to-it film - which I had seen, the week before - could ever be expected to transmit to post-Avatar 3D audiences, far less caught up than Roland Joffé in the importance and purpose of redemption in modern-day society.
I, for one, agree that learning to forgive is essential and that without it, we can never find our humanity. Also, I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with 'amateur': the word implies love and vocation, and I'm good with that. 'Overly plain', however, did all-too-frequently smack of 'low-budget, tinny dialogs' and 'shallow performances' - with, to some extent, the exception of Derek Jacobi.
I simply think that people turn to movie theaters for an experience they could never get from multimedia and home cinema; and movie theaters agree to deliver such an experience. And, though some of the action scenes were not entirely uninteresting (and we're, honestly, not asking for Terminators and Jurassics), to make - for general release - an entertaining and viable movie about the value of 'redemption' would appear to be as commercially unlikely as would making a movie about generosity or about humility. Such 'virtues' will either seep through the plot and hit viewers - and, hopefully, stay with them long - after they have left the theater or they won't! Yet, to play such virtues so close to the plot is - I feel - sadly counterproductive, from both a storytelling and a film-viewing point of view.
Mr. Joffé is sure to have enjoyed the experience, engulfed - as he will have been, throughout the film-making process - by this ubiquitous purpose, impregnating so many of his thoughts and actions. It's a shame he didn't give a little more importance to his side of this mutual selfishness pact we call 'film-going': that way, many thousands more might have enjoyed the experience, too.
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