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
When Luther is preaching to the congregation, he is walking around, whereas preachers of the time would have stayed in the pulpit. And the congregation is seated by families in pews. Pews were rare in those days--most people stood, and were generally segregated--men in one area, women and children in another. See more »
Frederick the Wise:
Spalatin, there are two ways of saying 'no' to someone you believe to be stronger than yourself. The first is to say nothing, and go on merely doing what you were doing before, and pretend that you never heard, allow time and inertia to be your allies. And the second is to say 'no' in such a kind and thoughtful way it befuddles them. Naturally, if both these strategies fail, there is nothing but to relent. Or... to fight! And of course, if you decide to fight, you also have to decide to win. No...
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The beauty of Luther is its drama and its casting. Joseph Fiennes did what he does best as the angst-riddled Luther, playing a complex and haunted character that filled the screen even in his quietest moments. The supporting cast was also fabulous, particularly the merry-in-the-face-of-danger performances by Bruno Ganz and Peter Ustinov.
What's troubling, then, about Luther is that the movie just isn't long enough to portray the story accurately, and therefore it feels not only unfinished but full of gaps. Things happen one against another, people come and go with little explanation, and yet the story marches on. Luther's mission is clear, but his purposes are so boiled down that only a few of his famous Theses are actually voiced in the movie. Shortening the story was obviously necessary for a movie, but in all, I think it acts against the dramatic effect of the film as a whole because things end up with a certain disjointed feel.
Still, the cinematography is brilliant and the acting nearly perfect. The film is worth seeing for its visual splendor (in both performance and sets) alone, and certainly as an introduction to a complex historical topic.
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