Reviewed by: Alexander Malsan
Roman Catholic sainthood, saints
saints in the Bible
justice in the Bible
life of faith
power of forgiveness
dark family secrets
woman’s search for love and meaning
|Featuring:||Charlie Cox … Josemaria—‘Stardust’
Wes Bentley … Manolo—“American Beauty”
Dougray Scott … Robert—‘Mission Impossible 2’
Geraldine Chaplin … Abileyza
Unax Ugalde … Pedro
Olga Kurylenko … Ildiko—‘Quantum of Solace’
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|Director:||Roland Joffé—“The Killing Fields,” “The Mission”|
|Producer:|| Antena 3 Films
Mount Santa Fe
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|Distributor:||Samuel Goldwyn Films|
“Even saints have a past.”
This is the story of two very different men, Josemaria and Manolo, living through one of the worst wars ever encountered in history, the Spanish Civil War. Watch as the film follows these two lives in a tale that answers the question, “Does God still listen?”
For the second time in my history as a reviewer for this Web site, I was so impressed with a film that it left me speechless. I cannot describe all the heart pounding emotions I felt. This movie literally and figuratively took my breath away. At one point, I forgot that this film is based on true events, I was so involved. The performances by all the characters are phenomenal. The music is perfect. The camera work is well done. I commend director Joffé for his excellent artistic design.
Violence: Moderate to Heavy. There are several scenes of war violence; people are seen being shot and killed. There is also a scene where a child (in school) is disciplined with a whip. There is a very brief fight in a seminary courtyard between two characters. A church is set on fire and various objects are destroyed. There is a scene of rioting and the breaking of glass windows. There are a couple scenes where explosions occur, as well as one where bodies are seen hanging from a piece of wood.
Profanity: Moderate. I counted two instances where God’s name is taken in vain, Jesus’ name is taken in vain once, five instances of d**n and d**nit, one of sh*t, two a**, h*ll (2), and b*strd (2). Other vulgarities include the terms “balls,” “give yourself to others” and “pr*ck.”
Sex/Nudity: Mild. There are two scenes where it has been implied that people have slept with each other. There is also a scene of childbirth.
Other: There is a scene where a mother is heard screaming over the death of her baby. Two characters are seen dying. A couple characters are seen smoking. Lastly, there is a scene where the viewer can see cuts on a young girl’s wrists.
Despite the moderate to heavy amounts of objectionable material, there are many positive, redeeming elements in this film. One of the themes that stands out is forgiveness. Forgiveness is not an easy concept for some to grasp. There are many Biblical passages that show God forgives us of our sins when we truly repent of them and humbly seek His forgiveness. Acts 13:38 states,
“Therefore my friends I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you” (NIV).
I can happily recommend this film to Christian adults and teens, to which it is geared toward. I do, however, stress caution, as this movie contains a goodly amount of violence, profanity, and a mild amount of sex/nudity. Again, I commend Mr. Joffé in his direction of this film and hope to see more films from him in the future.
Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Mild
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.