For my last movie review of 2007, I picked a movie that every time I saw the trailer I got excited. In fact it was the movie I was most anticipating to watch this year. Never mind the big blockbusters or award winners, this was the movie that I have been wanting to watch since I first saw the trailer. Amazing Grace is a song that EVERYBODY knows, whether they are Christian or not. Even just the tune is familiar to all.
I thought this movie was EXTREMELY well done. The story is inspirational and moving. I love historical movies set in Britain during the 1700-1800s so this definately made me enjoy watching this. I love period pieces because of the costumes and settings and this movie did not disappoint. The acting is so powerful in this movie. All the characters were played extremely well especially Ioan Gruffudd as Wilberforce. He should have gotten nominated for this movie. I also really like Michael Gambon in this movie, his character is not at all what you expect. Of course I kept seeing Dumbledore at first every time he appeared on screen. Also equally moving, is Albert Finney's portrayal of John Newton, the writer of the song Amazing Grace. Every time he was on screen I wanted to cry because his portrayal was so touching. And even though this is a serious topic there were lots of funny little scenes thrown in. My two favorites are the golf scene and the boring speech scene (if you watch it you'll know what I mean). Just little tidbits to make you laugh and break up the serious mood. By the end of the movie you want to stand up and cheer along with everyone.
And this is really a side note, but isn't Ioan Gruffudd just gorgeous in this movie? Definitely a great casting choice using Mr. Fantastic! Also, I had never heard of this actor before, my goodness Benedict Cumberpatch is WOW as William Pitt. I'm going to have to go look at this guy's other films. Apparently he is in that new movie Atonement. Definitely going to have to check out that movie now lol. Of course I'm referring to how these guys looked when they weren't wearing their wigs. The wigs they have to wear while in Parliament just made them looked really bad. I know that was the fashion at the time but it just made everyone who wore them look really...bad.
There was only one thing that irked me about this movie. It was the fact that everyone in the movie was SINGING the title. Unfortunately the tune to the song did not happen until years later so while they could have sang the song, it would not have been to the familiar tune that we all know. Also, what on earth did they do to Rufus Sewell? He goes from looking like a hunk in The Holiday to a long haired hippie in this movie. I'm not sure why they made him the ugly guy.
Other than that, I truly enjoyed this movie. It's a movie that the whole family can watch, and treasure for a long time. It's really inspirational and a tear jerker. It definately ranks in my top 10 movies of 2007.
After watching this movie if you are still interested in learning more about the characters, I recommend listening to Focus on the Family's Radio Theater version of Amazing Grace. It tells the stories of John Newton, William Wilberforce and Olaudah Equiano. It's a very well done dramatization. It is a bit intense at times with the descriptions of slavery so I would recommend this more towards teens and adults.