Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hollywood - By the Book

A Southern socialite, presumably motivated by Christian love and mercy, reaches out to an impoverished teenager to try to make a difference in his life...

A man is given a mission from the Almighty to preserve a holy book during a journey through a post-apocolyptic world...

A teenager is rocked by the suicide of a friend and challenges his fellow students to intervene in the lives of people with whom they might not normally associate...

These are the brief summaries of films that are either currently or soon to be in theaters: "The Blind Side", "The Book of Eli", and "To Save a Life". The films, while rather diverse in their approach to the selected subject matter, have a strong moral and faith element, and while TSAL is not in theaters yet, the early response from Christian leaders seems to be that the film has the potential to move teens to look beyond themselves, and hopefully, to look to Christ as the answer and the alternative to the immoral, non-redemptive practices in which they are engaging. I spoke with screenwriter Jim Britts on The Meeting House recently, who shared some of the background and motivation for the film.

This film, which is scheduled to debut on probably 400-500 theaters January 22nd, joins 2 other top 10 films that present a strong faith message. "The Blind Side" continues its remarkable run in theaters, placing at #7 at the box office for Monday, the 18th - the MLK holiday. Furthermore, Sandra Bullock won a Golden Globe award for her role as Lee Anne Tuohy, the wealthy lady from Memphis who basically took in the homeless teen, now-NFL rookie Michael Oher, and made a positive impact on his life. In real life, the Tuohys are evangelical Christians, active in their local church, and exemplified the unconditional love of Christ by reaching out beyond themselves and seeking to make a lasting deposit in a young man's life, which led to some rather difficult situations that are depicted in the film.
The film has been lauded for a number of elements. Dr. Marc Newman of Movie Ministry was struck by the way John Lee Hancock portrayed a Christian family in an authentic manner. Included in this conversation are some of his thoughts about the film:

Media organization Positive Media conducted an online call-in show with Hancock, and you can listen to it here:

Finally, someone who has been recognized as one of the most influential Christians in Hollywood, Denzel Washington, is the star of the new movie, "The Book of Eli", which placed 2 at the box office during its opening weekend. This film, about a spiritual journey that the main character takes in order to preserve a holy book, presumably the Bible, could be considered a symbolic depiction of the type of spiritual warfare that we as believes face on a consistent basis. With blatant faith elements, this is a movie that does not shy away from dealing with not only spiritual themes, but themes consistent with a Judeo-Christian worldview.
Again, here's Marc Newman of Movie Ministry:

Perhaps these events signal that there is certainly a market for films that present a Christian worldview perspective and deal with spiritual truth in an even-handed manner. It could be a good sign to the movie industry that it can make films that are honest in their dealing with religious matters and resonate with an audience that is seeking for spiritual truth and hope.

1 comment:

Deb said...

Bob, Thanks so much for the review of this movie, guess what, we are going to the movies.
Thanks again, God Bless and He has!!