Review by: James Robison of LIFE Outreach Ministries
Robert Duvall’s acting is worthy of every possible award and I believe the Academy Award for this performance should be a “lock”. This film is the “Driving Miss Daisy” of 1998 and every movie-going American should make every possible effort to see it. Every single character and actor performed superbly.
I am both excited and concerned over the film; excited about the indescribably superb characterization of a southern Pentecostal preacher by Robert Duvall, but concerned about the possible misrepresentation of the intent of Robert Duvall and the movie. I do not want the religious community to be divided or misunderstand its purpose. It portrays the sincerity of Christian believers while revealing their natural frailty and human tendency to stray. It reveals both the weaknesses and strengths of true believers. It reveals a man’s struggle to fulfill his divine destiny in life while battling his own humanity. It also clearly exposes our tendencies toward hypocrisy and traditional roles that are not necessarily in harmony with the Bible we claim to believe. In no way do the producers or actors make light of people’s sincerity or their cultural religious expressions.
If those outside the religious community fail to see “The Apostle” they will miss one of the greatest performances of all time and perhaps one of the truest portrayals of life as it often is throughout much of our great nation. I’m concerned that Christian may react to what appears as “type-casting” or misrepresentation of certain groups, though I do not believe this to be the intention. I am concerned that some will take this part of the Christian community as being an attempt to portray the entire community, which is not the case. This is simply a part of our great society and a part of the Christian body. The excitement and expressions should make us all smile, weep and rejoice over the fact that we are so unique, so different and so distinctive. Christians should agree, as the movie illustrates, that we are not all the same and that our great God and creator never intended for us to be.
It is my prayer that this film can somehow present an opportunity for Christians to express their sincere love and appreciation for one another in spite of their different forms of worship or particular beliefs. I sincerely hope and pray that our entire nation can find a way go give Robert Duvall and the movie, “The Apostle” an opportunity to make a positive and inspirational impact on all of us.