5.6/10
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21 user 63 critic

Last Days in the Desert (2015)

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An imagined chapter from Jesus' forty days of fasting and praying in the desert. On his way out of the wilderness, Jesus struggles with the Devil over the fate of a family in crisis.

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
... Jesus / Devil
... Father
... Mother
... Son
Susan Gray ... Demonic Woman
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Storyline

Ewan McGregor is Jesus - and the Devil - in an imagined chapter from his forty days of fasting and praying in the desert. On his way out of the wilderness, Jesus struggles with the Devil over the fate of a family in crisis, setting for himself a dramatic test.

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jesus christ character | See All (1) »

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To prepare for his mission, the holy man went into the desert to fast and pray, and to seek guidance.

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Adventure | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some disturbing images and brief partial nudity | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

23 June 2016 (Singapore)  »

Also Known As:

Últimos días en el desierto  »

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2.35 : 1
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Trivia

Ewan McGregor is now the third Star Wars veteran to play Jesus. The role was previously played by Max von Sydow in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965) and Kenneth Colley in Life of Brian (1979). See more »

Quotes

Father: Cures are the only things worth seeking.
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User Reviews

 
Far from perfect, but a refreshingly human, small scale take on Jesus
8 January 2017 | by See all my reviews

I liked this more than a lot of critics and friends, finding a gentle poetic power in some of the sequences, and appreciating the humanness of this simple telling as the end of Jesus' 40 days in the desert before he returned to civilization to face challenges and death.

Devoid of demands the audience believe in a literal way, I could be more open the exploration of complexities of faith and spiritual ethics that challenge everyone, even the son of god. I particularly liked the scenes where Ewen McGregor plays both Jesus and Satan, debating – among other things - the nature of God, and whether He is essentially good, or an over-controlling ego-maniac. McGregor does a lovely job separating the two characters with subtle touches like vocal rhythms and a different glint in the eye (there's no attempt to make the look different, signifying perhaps that the Devil is indeed an inevitable part of all humans, including this holy one).

On the other hand, the main story line created for the film – Jesus getting caught up in the domestic troubles of a dysfunctional desert family – is more uneven. There are indeed touching scenes, and it was refreshing to see a biblical story where Jesus can't simply bring happiness to this angry father, dying mother and alienated son with a wise word or a wave of his hand. On the other hand, at times it feels simply too prosaic, too small scale and too familiar. I think that's part of the point. Basic human struggle has changed very little in 2,000 years. But it also led to the occasional cringe-worthy moment, as when Jesus councils the father about the wayward son; 'talk to him about something he's interested in', sounding more like a friendly neighbor or basketball coach than the son of God. More important it wasn't clear (at least to me) how Jesus' encounter with this family effects his thinking or perceptions about his own difficult relationship with his own Father or terrifying fate going forward. What does he know or understand now that he didn't before?

Last, the film steals a key last minute twist from another cinematic version of the Christ tale, and I was distracted by the imitation.

In the end this was sort of a split decision. My mind found many faults with the film, some serious, but my heart was touched and involved.


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