"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Friday, December 03, 2004

Trailing Edge Film Review: Luther

Wednesday was the DVD release date for Luther, starring Joseph Fiennes and Sir Peter Ustinov. This is one lovely film and if it had been released after The Passion, would have been a bigger hit than it was. I predict the DVD will have a larger life than the film did. I had to rent it, since Wal-Mart inexplicably did not have the good taste to offer it for sale!

Here's all the review you really need to hear. My wife HATES historical films. I popped in Luther and invited her to join me. Maybe a better way to put it would be that I positioned her to watch the movie with me. I brought it home and announced I rented it hoping she would watch it with me. She bit and we watched together. I'm happy to report that she thoroughly enjoyed the movie and did not engage in side tasks while it played. Instead, she was impressed with this man, Luther.

Our friend and co-proprietor, S.T. Karnick, engaged in a beautiful act of film review on Luther for National Review Online. You can follow the link and read it there. For my part, I'll note that the film is somewhat hagiographic. You don't get a lot of Luther's darker moments here. You don't get the crassness of his frequent references to flatulence and gastrointestinal ailments. You don't get his late in life anger toward the Jews. You don't get the full extent of his part in the Peasant War and massacre of said peasants. But you do get a sense of his astounding confrontation with the Catholic Church of the period and the dedication he brought to bringing the Scripture to the people in a language they could read. This was an amazing man of stupendous talent, energy, and conviction. Luther provides a satisfying film experience in which one may get to know him.

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