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Last Temptation of Christ

A movie directed by Martin Scorsese

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Last Temptation of Christ

  • Jan 22, 2002
Pros: .......

Cons: .......

The Bottom Line: ........

I was raised a Baptist. Not a holy-roller, Bible thumping type of Baptist, just a regular Baptist. We studied the Bible, including the new and old testaments and although I haven't been a regular church member for many years, I still have those testaments burrowed away in my head.

To say I found this movie both intriguing and disquieting is an understatement. I don't know what brought me to this point or the fact that I am wavering on the edge of unrest with the movie.

While I found the production and the acting very creditable, I still felt a tad - I don't know - voyeuristic, watching the movie. I felt like I had wandered next to someone's house and found myself peeking in the windows, watching them live their daily lives - both good and bad.

I guess I have always lived under the assumption that Jesus, although human, lived a different life than we lived. To see him portrayed as both angry and sinful, as well as benevolent and pure, in the movie, still rankles me a bit. And although they covered all the major ‘miracles' in the movie, I still felt a bit edgy thinking that Jesus had so much anger in him. There were times He showed such rage in the movie.

Williem Dafoe made a definitely striking Jesus. His mannerisms and appearance fit into the role that was being portrayed. Barbara Hershey was absolutely perfect as Mary Magdalene (I could play that role, I know I could, but not like her for Heavens sake, she was sensational!) and I certainly think Harvey Keitel was the best choice for Judas. David Bowie pulled off an amusing, yet prissy, Pilate, adding an interesting twist to a person we have always hated in the past (at least, I never had a warm fuzzy for Pilate). So where did the movie go wrong for me?

Lighting and scenery were superb, no flaws there. I've never lived in that time, but everything seemed authentic enough. The score, by Peter Gabriel, was outstanding (is it available anywhere? I haven't been able to locate on line).

This movie is not recommended for children. I can see the reason certainly, with the overt sexual scenes and some of the language used. But beyond that, I think it is the disturbing humanity of Jesus that would make children question it as well. It is hard to look at the picture of Him, with the children at His feet, and then watch Him as portrayed in this movie. Not that there is anything wrong with Jesus appearing human - he was human.

I liked the movie, I liked the score, I liked the directing, the acting, the script. It just made me uneasy, like I had found out a dirty little secret about God.


Susi :)


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More Last Temptation of Christ reviews
review by . February 01, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: An unwavering portrayal of the human side of Jesus     Cons: Doubtful it will cause those who deny that side of him to think     The Bottom Line: Do you think maybe the point of God coming to Earth was to show that he doesn't offend as easily as his followers would like to believe?     It occurs to me as I write this that I don't ever recall the Jesus of the Gospels so much as implying his own perfection. Christians say God is a triune …
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Susi Dawson ()
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About this movie


This striking vision from the mind of director Martin Scorsese offers an allegorical interpretation of the last days of Jesus Christ, based on the book by Nikos Kazantzakis. Based strictly on Kazantzakis's book, the film has a very different focus than past portraits of the "Messiah." This Jesus (Willem Defoe) is a man wracked with doubt over his position among his followers and fear of the role God has chosen for him, as well as the pain that must accompany it. He is unsure whether the messages he receives come from God or Satan, and he is tempted by a mortal life filled with earthly possessions and sensual love, resulting in a controversial, though genuinely sympathetic, account of Christianity's most revered figure. <br> <br> Scorsese establishes a dreamlike mood by combining Michael Ballhaus?s photography with a transcendent soundtrack by Peter Gabriel in order to fully explore the idea that perhaps Jesus was both God and man. Rather than train his assembled cast to deliver their lines in historical...
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Director: Martin Scorsese
Release Date: 1988
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: Home Vision (April 18, 2000)
Runtime: 2hr 43min
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