Mary Magdalene (2018) Poster

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I am agnostic and this nearly made me have a come to Jesus moment
aerystablue3 July 2018
I do not believe in the bible or organized religion. I watched this movie because I love period movies and Joaquin Phoenix. It was so subtle. It did not beat you over the head with blood and pain like Passion of the Christ did. It showed Jesus conflicted, sad, angry, and scared. He somberly walked to his final days. He accepted a woman despite protests. Though the dialogue was sparse, I felt it more profoundly than any church sermon I have ever sat through. I was moved to sobs several times, especially in today's political climate. The acting was perfect, the scenery breath taking and it was beautifully quiet movie, definitely worth the watch.
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Change yourself, and the world changes
ThreeMoons30 April 2018
Every scene in the movie, is seen through the perspective of Mary Magdalene. The ones who missed that, probably saw another film. Great casting and Ronney Mara´s best acting yet. Superb music, that made two hours seem like one. Amazing direction, which even surpasses that of "Lion" (2016). For the first time ever (for me at least), the audience did not leave the cinema until the end of the credits. I cried for nearly 120 minutes. There were different reasons for that: joy, sadness, inspiration, understanding and so forth. "Mary Magdalene" (2018) is truly a masterpiece and I can not recall, when something touched me in such a profound way.
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It is Our Responsibility to Save the World
joythirstpop29 July 2018
Great acting, great perspective, great story.

It is strange that this idea could put a bad taste into someones mouth- that it is OUR responsibility to save the world - pretty much the opposite message of "sola fide" - the doctrine introduced by the Lutheran church that it is only through faith in the divinity of Jesus alone and not through works we achieve "salvation". Centuries of self-identified "Christians" with no real love of peace, truth or compassion at the helm of the West and look where it has gotten us... millions of Christians await Christ's return yet make no serious effort to live by Christ's teachings. That is the sore thumb and the tragedy of many of the efforts of modern evangelists

Ironically, a movie that is supposed to be about Mary Magdalene is the best cinematic telling of the Jesus story that I have seen - it takes care to communicate understandably how Jesus's real teachings could become skewed by disciples who had their own ideas about the way they thought things should be, or would prefer them to be. They helped create in their folly a system of belief which removes personal responsibility and promotes complacent self righteousness in apathy which seems so common today.

The message of personal responsibility is so crucial in these times when it feels like the world is speeding ever so quickly towards irreversible change - where that change is directed is up to us and if we are all sitting on our thumbs we may neglect our own responsibility and contributions in the matter. That someone could be made angry or put off by this idea seems incomprehensible to me
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A New Age/Politically Correct/Postmodern tale
fernando-saravi31 March 2018
Warning: Spoilers
My wife and I watched this movie yesterday. I hadn't great expectations, but what we watched was far worse than what I could guess. I'm aware that the biblical data on Mary are scarce, and some imagination is needed to flesh out her story, but here imagination has gone wild and plainly contradicting the Scriptures. What do we know about Mary Magdalene from the Bible? 1. She had been healed by Jesus (seven demons had gone out from her). 2. She and other healed women were following Jesus and the Twelve and were "contributing to their support out of their private means" (Luke 8: 1-3). 3. She was present, along with Jesus'mother and the beloved disciple (probably John) by the cross when Jesus died (John 19:25). 4. On the first day of the week she went to Jesus' tomb and found it empty. 5. She went to Peter and the beloved disciple to tell them about the empty tomb. They also saw it and left, but Mary remained weeping outside the tomb. There, she first saw two angels and then the resurrected Christ appeared to her and sent her to the disciples. 6. She did as commanded, and told them "I have seen the Lord" (John 20: 1-18). What would we learn about Mary Magdalene from the movie? 1. That she was an atypical, even rebellious woman, who refused to marry and had her own brand of spirituality. 2. That her family thought she was possessed, but when Jesus went to heal her, he declared she had no demon (against Luke 8:2). 3. That Jesus himself baptized her (against John 4:2). 4. That Jesus asked her what should he say to the women at Cana of Galilee. 5. That Peter was jealous of her standing before Jesus (an idea perhaps taken from the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas, 114). 6. That she was present at the Last Supper (Thank you, Dan Brown, for The Da Vinci Code!). 7. That she found Jesus sitting by a cliff (against John 20:14). Many other things may be noted, but I just want to comment on the movie's portrait of Jesus. I love Joaquin Phoenix, but his Jesus was awful. Too old (Jesus was on his early 30s), lacking joy, power and passion. Even when John said that Jesus had a seamless tunic (John 19:23-25), in the movie he always looks as a hobo. Indeed, a jaded, insecure, confused hobo most of the time. He even faints a couple of times (before the trial). He has to be encouraged by Mary. In short, this movie is kind of a New Age/Postmodern/Politically correct tale, and even granting that, quite boring. We boldly endured it to the end, but the only interesting thing we noticed was, before the credits, a short comment on the wrong (or at least arbitrary) identification of Mary Magdalen as the sinner of Luke 7:36-50 and Mary of Bethany. Mary Magdalen is a fascinating biblical character and she deserves a much better movie to tell her story.
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An Amazing Film, Under Rated, Superbly Acted and Directed
bekindbetruthful11 August 2018
Superbly directed by Garth Davis, this is one of his finest works. The writing and direction is so good. Can't say it enough. Simply, wow. The movie wasn't released in the US because one of the producers was the infamous HW, and his production company. The timing was unfortunate for the movie. Then came the metoo movement, so it wasn't released which is a damn shame. Rooney Mara gives one of her best performances, subtly touching a fine line between tender follower and passionate rebel. Confined by the rules of the day, she lives on the border, pushing the boundaries of tradition. She can nuance a scene like so few actors can, with a look, a smile, tears- she possesses incredible tenderness in this role, nothing short of amazing. She is by far the best actor since Audrey Hepburn. Great actors are rare. Joaquin Phoenix once again, gives an Oscar winning, outstanding performance, embracing the persona of Jesus Christ, allowing all aspects of his humanity to be shown, all the while being the very Son of God. These two performances are worthy of so much attention. But as artists, you don't always get your due. Jóhann Jóhannsson's gorgeous music layers the movie with sometimes stark sometimes lush, cello, and violin, capturing perfectly the surroundings of the location. The cinematography is stunning, captures light, the feeling of the time period is a substantial way. A truly beautiful film. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Savior of the World, you will understand, appreciate and be deeply touched by this film. If you are a religious person, steeped in man made theology of precept doctrine rule and ritual, perhaps watch another film. God bless. He lives!
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Beautiful absolutely fantastic
rgm-2425618 August 2018
Absolutely beautiful stunning fantastic scenery story everything about this movie.
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Ultimately It's a Synopsis of a very Important Story with a NEW Message
vanapa29 June 2018
Trying to do the impossible is not going to end well. How does one tell a convincing, fulfilling story by editing out 75% of the story ? I'm sure the players of this effort all considered this BEFORE attempting the production. And what we get is an UNfulfilling story that leaves us with a sophomoric aftertaste. Rooney is always a standout in anything she does, based primarily on her unique beauty and unique persona, both of which give MARY focus of our attention. Phoenix is an odd choice-I agree, but his characterization of JESUS is a FRESH take, the freshest since-The Last Temptation of Christ-Scorsese/Dafoe 1988. Mary is not nearly as provocative as The Last Temptation, and does get across to us the theme of Mary. That is- she is the Apostle of all Apostles, and quite a rarity by revealing that women of that time were just forbidden to act so independently-by forsaking the family/community/Society wishes for her/women., Also-this abstract of a story also has a surprising climax that pushes home the ultimate message of the movie. But-this profound message is so understated and comes and goes so quickly..this message may even miss the ears/hearts of many viewers. The only thing that truly ressonates at curtain closing, is that this movie was well performed and allowed us a NEW look into a most intriguing, fascinating story....if only it was more COMPLETE..told us more. Perhaps this should have been a Netflix mini-series. Yes-indeed- should have been a mini-series.
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A Subtle Masterpiece
kai_neg26 March 2018
Taking the most influential, taken apart, retold, sold, fabricated, used, abused and misunderstood man of the last 2018 years is no easy task. Simply because it really involves all of those things. However, I understand that that's the main reason this production happened. It's a story told a million times, and not told well enough.

I have never seen so much effort into telling the story of Jesus in the most accurate way possible. The movie is filled with its historic background. From its pace to its cinematography. To me, that is the effect seen from much research. This team was not worried about pleasing this or that crowd as they were with what they found out and what they interpreted throughout the process. There's a great unity in this work, which is rare to find. This same outlook permeates the whole movie and the cast.

It took guts to make something made so mystical over the years to be something human, possible, close. From being accurate on the cultural influence on everything that Jesus did or talked about to showing the almost zero impact he had on society of the time. To showing the simplicity of the traveling and eating of the group, to showing the big influence a woman had on the story that unfolded.

An outstanding movie that captured the essence of Chistianity. Because of that, there's a big chance of it being forgotten, ignored and misinterpreted, just like the real story and the real characters.
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A new narrative of the Nazarene and Magdalene.
Pairic19 March 2018
Mary Magdalene: Mary (Rooney Mara) is a fisherwoman, casting nets in the Sea of Galilee along with her sisters. She assists in a difficult birth, goes back to her fishing, sees a healer and his associates pass by, remarks that he must have little to do if he can preach every day. But Mary is also troubled, she doesn't want to be married off. Her erratic behaviour makes her family believe she is possessed and an exorcism is attempted. Later the healer (Joaquin Phoenix) comes to her and realises that she is not possessed.

The healer is Jesus and later Mary goes to see him preach and heal. When he restores a blind man's sight he is overwhelmed by the demanding crowd. In the background, Peter (Chiwetel Ejiofor) baptises people in the sea. Against her family's wishes Mary becomes a follower of Jesus and is baptised by him. They go on to Cana where Jesus preaches to women and Mary baptises them and some become followers. Peter is none too happy at this usurpation of his role.

This retelling of the Gospel stories is based on verses which suggest Mary was an Apostle and that other women were part of Jesus's broader following. In 2016 the Roman Catholic Church declared Mary was the Apostle of the Apostle and not a prostitute as the misogynist Pope Gregory had declared in 591.

There isn't a suggestion of a sexual relationship between the Magdalene and Jesus in this film, rather that she was the Apostle he dearly loved. The other Apostles have different views of what the mission of Jesus will result in: Peter is a zealot who hopes that the presence of Jesus in Jerusalem will result in an uprising and the driving out of the Romans. Judas believes that the dead will rise in the new Kingdom and he will be reunited with his dead wife and child.

Phoenix looks very much a Western Jesus but his worn countenance is that of an austere Essene. He foresees his own end, when he cures the afflicted or raises the dead he is physically and mentally drained. When he reaches the Temple he doesn't drive out the money-changers, instead he attacks the priests who are selling animals for sacrifice, Phoenix exudes righteous anger. Mara is quiet but intense, it is more difficult fora woman to take a leading role as an Apostle but Rooney convinces in this role.

In particular cinematographer Greg Fraser makes great use of shadow and fires, the flames being reminiscent of how Jules Breton brought blazes to life in his paintings. The screenplay by Helen Edmundson and Philippa Goslett (no crdits for Matthew Mark, Luke and John) is revisionist in the best sense of the word. Garth Davis as director has put together a new narrative of the Nazarene and Magdalene which won't be to everyone's taste but even an agnostic can find it enthralling. 8.5/10.
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The Passion of the Christ light
Alexander_Blanchett16 March 2018
The story of the last weeks of Jesus Christ told out of the perspective of the first ever feminist, Mary Magdalene. It is an interpretation of the bible and the new found redemption of Mary Magdalene by the Vatican in 2016. Rooney Mara plays the title role and gives quite a solid performance. The material given to her is rather limited, but mostly due to the fact the the film feels terribly edited and cut down. Its a good performance but nothing she will win awards for. Joaquin Phoenix plays Jesus. He did have some good moments but generally feels miscast. He played Jesus too rough and too edgy. I mean edgy is good, but he often felt like a homeless vagabond preaching around with his not less weird followers. Not quite Charles Manson like but close. Chiwetel Ejifor was fine but he was rather wasted except for his scene at the end. The film is very nice to look at. Cinematography is great. The whole look and feel is accurate and it has a nice score. It did feel too modern often . the way the talk, the way they gestured and Rooney Mara's pierced ears did not help. I really would like to see Garth Davis' uncut version of it.
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A big disappointment
Rendmigiryggen31 March 2018
This is not a movie for people who know the Bible. It was filled with errors and a lot of important things were left out. Now I understand why it's not in Danish cinemas! I had to take a ferry to Sweden to see it (It's only a twenty-minute trip). At least I had a nice day ...
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Boring, and not much to do with the title character.
lurpak17 March 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Twenty minutes in to an empty auditorium. I was ready to go. I have in my fifty years only ever walked out on one movie. This would've been the second, but my wife insisted we made the most of our evening out together and stuck with it. Forty minutes later she had fell asleep and I was stuck watching it. The self indulgence of the director was overwhelming, the script had no inspiration, you kind of literally expect "inpsiration" in a religious film. The scenery... was it filmed in Ireland or something, I can't remember a scene with sand or sun. Making it a miserable film even more miserable by its dull Northern European weather. So, how about the story of Mary Magdelane. Nothing...not a jot, no intrigue, no character development, just a stale one sided cardboard woman who decides to join a bunch of travelers passing through her town because they wanted to put some sort of woman's rights swing into the film to connect with modern movements that simply didn't fit in the movie. It picked out key points in the forty plus year old Jesus...didn't he die at 33? He,s looking rough for a 33 year old. Maybe they should have gone for the cultural appropriation angle instead of the women's movement one to apease it pc wallies, since not a single character had correct features for that part of the world.

Don't get me wrong, actors act and play people who are not them, so I don't cave to this nonsense. But it did stand out that all the characters wer western, even the extras virtually.

So yeas, basically about five seminal moments from the Jesus story, blind man made to see, Lazarus raised from the dead, last supper, betrayed with a kiss, crucified and saw in the garden at gethsemane....that's the Jesus story, we all know that... in between you would have thought they would've kind of created at least some interesting stuf about Mary Magdalene ? You'd have thought. No 5his one dimensional, "I will be faithfully by your side" character basically opposes any credit they had at women's individuality as she follows Jesus around like a sheep, listening to him whine about his lot in life...I wouldn't want hang around with him for ten minutes, let alone follow him and launch a new era of religious doctrine. The only really information that developed MM in any way was at the end, after the film, where it does the what happened next text on screen, where it tells us that MM was recognised by the Vatican as an apostle recently and not as the whore she is popularly credited as, as that now becomes documentary evidence that she or any of the others even existed.

There is so much interesting and great esoteric concepts in many books about MM that could've at least been posed...but they left this all out for a boring film discussing the most boring in between gaps of the key points of Jesus story mentioned above that without that context could've easily been about Brian, or any other prophet wandering around "Ireland" 2000 years ago...I can't be bothered looking where it was filmed, but Blackpool beach would've been more convincing.

Nothing, but nothing interesting or new, or dynamic about this film. It's quite possibly the dullest film ever made.
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moisiu8 April 2018
First time in my life that I feel the need to write a negative review... I suppose that the movie achieves its aim of being shocking while politically correct. Not a single actor looks semitic/middle-eastern. Most of cast have the "classical" blue eyes of 1st century Judeea (sarcasm) while the fathers of the Christian Church, Peter and Andrew... well... you will have to guess this one. JC is a fearful, incoherent, conflicted character and the apostles have not understood a sentence he said. Meanwhile the roman army casually wipes out villages for no apparent reason. For everybody's info, the roman army did not collect taxes, same as the the armed forces of today. In a nutshell this movie is an another ignorant and offensive depiction of people who, whether we believe their message or not, changed the world and who created the largest, most influential religion in the history of the Earth. So perhaps, they were not imbeciles.
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bdewiyah18 March 2018
I expected more and got much less story-wise and fact-wise. It was extremely vague from the beginning!! The movie was lacking on different levels. I was disappointed that it did not shed any proper light on Mary and mostly it was about Jesus Christ which was done poorly and in no way can be compared to The Passion of the Christ.
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Strong and Significant Performances
mattvanco29 September 2018
An unexpected brilliance and a mastery of story telling.
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I really wanted to love it...
carolrmag1 July 2018
The 6 stars are for the actors, the quality of the images and the bravery to make a movie about such a controversial subject. I am sadden for the fact that the plot has so many holes that even being a Christian (myself) didn't help. Christ journey during his last 3 years on earth was so immeasurably profound it changes lives to this day, 2000 years after. I was expecting that bringing the role of Mary Magdalene into light would make a fabulous complement. It didn't.
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Passionless Christ
TheLittleSongbird7 May 2018
Despite the lukewarm/average reviews, part of me was very intrigued in watching 'Mary Magdalene'. The cast, with the talents of Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix and Chiwetel Ejiofor and director were enough to want to see the film, and also wanted to see how the different perspective the film shows would fare.

'Mary Magdalene' turned out to be a disappointment and didn't really connect with me. For me, it is a difficult film to rate and review with obvious strengths and even more obvious problems. Can totally see the divisive reactions, why the rating here is not great, why it's garnered a lot of hate or mixed feelings here (as well the odd positivity) and why the critical reception was average, things that also made me apprehensive seeing the film.

Starting with the strengths, 'Mary Magdalene' on the most part looks wonderful. It's beautifully shot and has production design and costumes that are like looking at a painting. The music added a good deal to the atmosphere, with haunting moments and providing an emotional resonance that was not there elsewhere.

Rooney Mara is an expressive and affecting Mary, and while Joaquin Phoenix was a strange choice for Jesus his portrayal is both touching and intense. Chiwetel Ejiofor and particularly Tahar Rahim provide strong supporting turns. There are a few interesting ideas, like the betrayal by Judas.

However, there is not much new or illuminating here, even approaching the subject from a different viewpoint, and found myself never connecting with it emotionally. On that front 'Mary Magdalene' was a pretty cold and passionless experience.

A feeling that was further accentuated by rambling writing, curiously lethargic direction and a very elephantine pace where a lot of the film drags and feels self-indulgent. The ending was rushed, just as problematic when that is the point of the film where the emotion and passion should be strongest. The editing tended to be choppy, almost like there was more to the film that was cut down.

In summary, beautiful to look at and more than competently acted, but lacking emotional or dramatic impact and illuminating ideas and very dull. 5/10 Bethany Cox
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Fiction or Truth, Who Cares.
jonoau29 June 2018
Another interpretation of the myth. How anyone can complain about the way the actors look or the facts of the story is absurd. The Bibles stories were written 300 years after the death of Jesus and put together by a sexist Pope hundreds of years later. The point of a review is, how good is the movie? Is it amusing, sad or most importantly, is it entertaining. This is a bit slow in places, but unless you are very religious I think you will enjoy it. But keep in mind it's a work of fiction, all movies are, even the ones based on truth. Wake up people.
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Totally bogus
Snootz28 June 2018
When making a film about Jesus and the people surrounding him, there are three choices: 1) Make it accurate according to scripture 2) Add some artistic-license drama to make the story come across better on the big screen, while still following the scriptural account 3) Make a totally bogus, made-up personal interpretation without any respect for the original accounts whatsoever.

Guess which one this is.
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A beautiful, heartfelt film.
celestemartinross20 March 2018
An amazing message that is conveyed beautifully. Watch from your heart not your head. Scenery lovely too.
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A beautiful looking movie that leaves you feeling more empty than you should
paulijcalderon2 April 2018
The simple way of explaining this movie is imagine if Terence Malick filmed it, but he attempted to make the feel of it to be like a Tarkovskij film. I had a decent time watching "Mary Magdalene". You can look at the pictures and performances and see the beauty of the story. Yet, I hate to say it: It slows down and becomes un-eventful too many times. The director Garth Evans went the melancholic route were you are supposed to feel like you are wandering the landscapes with Jesus and his apostles. The world is a silent and lonely one, and there's barely much happiness going on. Jesus may spread wisdom, hope and kindness. Although here he keeps that sad stare as if something is troubling him. I think it was supposed to symbolize serenity, but it made him seem more depressed. Every adaptation of the Jesus story presents a different interpretation and here again, they give you a slightly sorrowful looking Joaquin Phoenix. He wasn't bad at all though. Just somewhat distracting at first because I kept thinking of his character in "Inherent Vice". As the movie progressed I got used this version. So it was alright. You can't hate Phoenix any way. He's a nice guy. Rooney Mara is wonderful as Mary. She carries a lot of this movie as its told from her perspective. I enjoyed her interaction with the rest of the apostles as well as her mutual respect and connection to what Jesus wanted to say. She struggles in the difficult world, but maintains that inner warmth that you need when you comfort someone in need.

I think the film is OK. The slow parts drag and there are only so many melancholic stares you can endure before you go: "Come on, guys. I get it". It's supposed to a realistic approach. You hear the sounds of nature and the breeze of the wind as you wander the fields with short grass. All of that is nice. But it's constantly dramatic and quiet. I wanted to see some more kindness and optimism to show us more nuances from the characters. You've seen the Jesus story be told many times and here's another one. It's not bad, but it lacked a special punch of uniqueness. I think "Last Days in the Desert" handled the quiet melancholic version of the tale better. This is not a bad attempt, but more of an underwhelming one. It's beautiful to look at and you have nice people who you follow. But it leaves you feeling more empty than you should. I respect what Mary Magdalene did and I'm happy I got to understand her perspective. But I don't think I ever have to see this entire movie again. Only recommended to loyal fans of the people involved making the film and those who are interested in the different adaptations the Jesus story.
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No Gospel
jlife-9316230 June 2018
Sorry Christians, It had a few moments where I would say OK, its giving the historical account of what may be perceived as Mary's experience with Jesus , but I was left feeling empty in the end when It never really conveyed the risen aspect of the gospel. It felt spiritual but not Godly. Felt like an woman empowering movie.Not hating on women, but Jesus is the reason for the transformation of lives and Christianity and the movie made Jesus out to be more of a revolutionary than the Son of God.You may think opposite due to Mary conflicting with the disciples at times when they all made plans for how Jesus would change the system of things,but not to convey the true understanding at least through Marys eyes and having Jesus be revealed in the end was hollow. So sorry.Not gospel.
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A mystifying bore
Gordon-1131 August 2018
I find the story very poorly explained, and the pace is very slow. It is not helped by the characters speaking softly in a rambling manner, on the other hand ambient noises are loud. Unfortunately I just don't understand the plot. It could have been a biblical epic, but it ends up being a huge mystifying bore. I didn't get anything out of the film, and it is sad that the film became a waste of my time.
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berrypng24 March 2018
Warning: Spoilers
0/10 from me. After 20 mins Into the movie I was ready to walk out....instead I had a short nap & watched some more & then walked out. Nothing inspirational about this movie at all. Boring.
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The value of telling a story differently.
happy_juan11 April 2018
719/5000 The film seems to me to be exalted for more than one issue in particular. Visual and aesthetically beautiful, the photography by Greig Fraser is more than polished, and contributes to the pair of music in the development and in making the viewer empathize with a Maria who deserved an apology after so long He took her as a prostitute. The performances of the main actors is impeccable; Mara, Phoenix, Rahim, Ejiofor, Karyo, Ménochet, all meet, the rest are only ornaments or extras. A slow movie that takes its time, at times seems to decay in its argument, but always hooks correctly again. A good new and refreshing proposal within the biblical cinema.
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