Thursday, July 13, 2006

Review of The Last Temptation of Christ

I probably should have written this sooner since it's no longer fresh in my mind, but here goes.

The Last Temptation of Christ, directed by Martin Scorsese, deals with the idea of Jesus being a human and giving in to his human desires. Anytime it is suggested that Jesus gave into human nature, controversy ensues. I personally don't find it preposterous that Jesus felt hate, rage, lust, or any of the other emotions that people feel. That's an unpopular opinion, but no one knows what actually happened. Also controversial for its nudity and graphic gore, this is obviously not family fare.

Overall, I felt the movie was Biblically and historically accurate. I actually learned an interesting fact. I knew that Jesus became angry at the money changers at the temple, but I had to idea they were there because Roman coins were not allowed in the temple due to having Caesar's image. I thought the movie was filmed on location (Jesus Christ, Superstar was); it was actually filmed in Morocco, but the scenery looked just as authentic as JCS's.

The skill of the actors ranged, but Willem Dafoe as Jesus was brilliant. I had heard of him but didn't have an opinion one way or the other. He has a new fan! He had big shoes to fill but I believed every emotion. Even though I love Harvey Keitel, I cringed when he was onscreen. His acting wasn't bad, but Judas with a Brooklyn accent? I can't believe Mr. Scorsese let that fly, as it was a major distraction. Keitel was nominated for a Razzie for his performance in this movie.

I was a little confused at the end, mostly because I was nodding off, but once I had a chance to sit and think about it I really liked it. I love movies that make the viewer ask questions about life, society, religion, anything. Will this replace Jesus Christ, Superstar as my Easter movie? No way, but it was a good movie nonetheless.


Blogger March to the Sea said...

i saw this movie ages ago. i think mostly due to the "hype/controversy" around it. I don't remember liking or disliking tho. Kinda ehh for me.

7/13/2006 1:39 PM  
Blogger Annoyed said...

As I've stated in the past It's one of favorites... Truly brillant, IMO.

I'd have to check but I'm pretty sure Keitel wasn't the first choice. They had all sorts of problems making the film... Originally slated for production I I believe 1983 but later pushed because of the financial worries.

Scorsese is a VERY religous man... At one time he gave serious consideration to becoming a Catholic Priest. It hurt him deeply when the Church reacted to the film before ever seeing it.

The end was the real problem for them... The fact that Jesus doubts his calling and wonders what would have been if he didn't assume the responsibilty that came with being the son of God. It was this very "human" emotion that the church had/has problems with... That to me has always been very stupid! They ask us to accept Jesus and the son of God in Human form and then ask us to regect the idea he would pocess human emotions...


Anyway, I'll see if I can find some info about casting in one of my Scorsese books... I have a few :-)

7/13/2006 5:00 PM  
Blogger Hotwire said...

by the very nature of Him saying 'My God, why have you forsaken me?" while on the cross shows his doubt - but this is always glossed over and therefore has always been a source of confusion for me.

7/14/2006 6:07 AM  
Blogger defiant goddess said...

I love Jesus Christ Superstar. Especially the soundtrack.

7/14/2006 9:01 AM  
Blogger Annoyed said...


Glossed over, maybe... However, I rememeber being lectured by priests while in Catholic School that I should reject the film based on that one moment.

Apparently the book is much deeper and goes a longer way towards debate on the image of Jesus.

I've always been drawn much more to "The Last Temptations" version than the story in the bible...It just always seems to make more "sense"

7/14/2006 10:04 AM  
Blogger Hotwire said...

annoyed: agreed. 100%.

7/14/2006 9:14 PM  
Blogger Rusty said...

Renee, Jenny and I have a long-standing love of JCS...especially the soundtrack, just like you! :)

Annoyed, how could they have had a problem with that line when it's in the Bible? Or (and this is a serious question) is it not in the Catholic bible? I know it's a bit different.

As per my understanding, in the last moments of Jesus' life, the sins of the world were upon him, and as the punishment for all of them, God turned his back. He DID forsake Jesus, and his crying out that fact doesn't show doubt inasmuch as it shows that Jesus, as punishment for the sins of the world, took on FULLY human, non-divine characteristics - he acknowledged that God had forsaken him, which should have been our punishment for sin all along.

I'm not trying to start a religious debate in any way...just wanted to share my understanding of that verse, Annoyed and Hotwire. :)

The movie sounds interesting, Jenny. I'm certainly up for seeing it.

7/14/2006 10:50 PM  
Blogger Caroline said...

Thank you for your comment about the shoes. I agree 100%. I'm enjoying this wedge trend b/c I think that they're more comfortable than stilettos. Money does motivate me too. Thank goodness I took a sales job and they want that to motivate you!!!

7/15/2006 10:31 AM  
Blogger Annoyed said...


I haven't read the bible in a long time... The film got slammed for portraying Jesus as a Human and having him replay his life as one in the final moments leading up to his death...

Imagining being married and having a regular life... I have to watch it again. I own it on DVD.

It will give me something to do tonight.

7/15/2006 12:48 PM  
Blogger Dim said...

What's the buzz, tell me what's a-happenin', what's the buzz, tell me what's a-happening'...

7/15/2006 8:00 PM  
Blogger pog mo thoin said...

I didn't see the movie but I am a HUGE Jesus Christ Superstar fan! I went to see it staged and ended up singing the whole show.

7/16/2006 10:29 AM  
Blogger pog mo thoin said...

I meant to say I didn't see the Last Temptation. I own both versions of JC Superstar. The old one is the best.

7/16/2006 10:30 AM  
Blogger Jenny G said...

Thanks for the comments, guys! Sorry I'm not respoding to them individually, but I'm lazy today :).

7/16/2006 1:45 PM  
Blogger Jenny G said...

Actually, I do have one thing to say. I saw a stage version with Ted Neeley playing Jesus. That man has ruined his beautiful voice.

7/16/2006 1:56 PM  

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