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Plot: The life of Jesus Christ, his journey through life as he faces the struggles all humans do, and his final temptation on the cross. Runtime: 164 mins Release Date: 24 Nov 1988
Most cinematic depictions of Christ show a perfect being, a one-dimensional person who is overly self confident and almost egotistical. I can never relate to those films, so they aren't believable. The Last Temptation of Christ is totally different. It was banned by intolerant Christians who didn't even see it because they have conflicting viewpoints, which is one hell of a paradox. I use to say that Christ was described as a demi-god in the Bible because He is half-man and half-god, but I was told that He is really all-man and all-god. If the latter thesis is correct, than he most <more>
have all the perfections of god as well as all the faults of man. In the movie, Jesus is not perfect. He sins, or at least, He confesses sins. He is haunted by visions and sounds almost to where He goes on the brink of insanity. He is tempted by Satan over and over again into thinking that he is just a man. When He cures a person of blindness, He does not smile, he frowns in pain because for every man he cures, he knows it brings him closer to the cross. The characterization in this movie is excellent. This script is Schrader's best, although it was rewritten. The music is the best I've ever heard in any films. Scorsese's direction was absolutely superb. Willem Dafoe and Harvey Keitel were excellent as well. And the movie leads you to the most haunting portayal of the crucifixion in cinematic history.It is a must for any person to see, especially if you were outraged by the fact that Jesus is displayed as imperfect. You cannot do the film justice if you don't watch the whole film. You may be offended throughout the entire film, but it all comes together in the end and all is well. Seriously, I give the film five stars.
This is a beautiful film. It is one of the most powerful and ultimately one of the greatest films ever made, without a doubt. The performances, especially by Willem Dafoe as Jesus, are amazing; the sets and costumes are realistic and never feel forced, glossy, or stylized and were based on extensive archaeological and philological research ; Peter Gabriel's score is absolutely unbelievable...I cannot possibly praise this film enough, as well as Mr. Scorcese's courage in making such a bold and beautiful work of art in the face of considerable opposition.It is really best to avoid <more>
religious and theological arguments about this film - it is simply a portrait of Christ coming to terms with who he is and what he must do. If it occasionally portrays Jesus in a manner that is somewhat at odds with that of scripture, try to keep in mind that it is merely another take on a story that has no absolute and authoritative telling. That Jesus has difficulty coming to terms with the role he must play is something that scripture does not rule out.Consider it this way: this is the sort of film that has the power to convince the irreligious or non-Christians out there of which I am one of the importance, beauty, depth, and truth of Jesus' vision of a world filled with love and compassion. Give this movie a chance. You will not be disappointed.
The Most Loving Portrayal of Jesus I Could Imagine (by CSM126-1)
Condemned by Fundamentalists upon release, delayed by outcries from hypocrites and liars, and boycotted in any city where it played "The Last Temptation of Christ" is one of the most controversial movies ever made. Instead of showing Christ as a fearless and perfect person, "The Last Temptation" depicts Him as a person who fought his destiny and wished to be just another mortal human being. Religious groups who couldn't and still can't accept the fact that Jesus was human were shocked by such ideas and refused to see the film or read the landmark novel on which <more>
it was based. They'll never know that they attacked one of the most honest and loving depictions of Christ.The Christ we see in the film is not based on the teachings of the Gospels, or any scripture for that matter. Instead we get a portrait of Christ the man, not Christ the Savior. We get to see his faults, his fears and anxieties. Then, we get to see him overcome those and find the strength to fulfill his destiny. The Last Temptation of Christ is not afraid to say that Jesus was weak before he became the Savior, and that makes the film all the more satisfying. This is a tale of redemption, courage, and love like no other.There is no reason to miss this film. Not everyone will like it, but at the very least it will let you see another perspective of the story. And even if you can't accept the story, you won't be able to deny the greatness of Scorsese's direction. From the epic crowd scenes, to the intimate one-on-one conversations, to the stunning final shot which was actually caused by an overexposed section of film, but is beautiful nonetheless , you will be awed by Scorsese's work here.Also stunning is the work of the two leads. Willem Dafoe inhabits the role of Christ perfectly, bringing perfectly controlled emotion to each and every scene. Harvey Keitel as Judas has been the subject of debate because of his NYC accent. That was on purpose Scorsese used accents to denote the descent of characters. American accent Israelite; British accent Roman , but it doesn't even matter. Keitel is brilliant no matter what his accent is.Honest, human, loving, and unafraid, "The Last Temptation of Christ" is one of the great cinematic achievements of all time. Martin Scorsese crafted with this film his most personal masterpiece, and perhaps his greatest masterpiece ever.
I thought this movie was an excellent piece of film making. A fabulous score and stunning cinematography take us through the inner struggle of Jesus in accepting his role and his duty. It tells how he faced temptation, ridicule , torture and triumph. Before you burn my name in effigy for liking this movie, be open minded and just experience a good film. The "disclaimer" at the beginning of the movie says it all. It is not necessarily based on events in the Bible. Just as Jesus used parables as a way of teaching, this movie tells a story of a man's life and events that we can all <more>
somehow personally relate to. By the way, the portrayal of Satan was the best I've seen yet.
Has there ever been a more misunderstood film than Martin Scorcese's The Last Temptation Of Christ? Released amid great controversy and accused of being an offensive and unholy film, the truth of the matter is that it is a deeply reverent work which has the courage to ask challenging questions about the pressures and doubts Jesus must have experienced as the appointed Messiah. It also shows the violence of the times in graphic detail. If viewers consider it blasphemous to explore on film the immense burden of duty that Jesus bore through his life, then they are narrow-minded and ignorant. <more>
If people feel that to show the brutality and harshness of life in Roman times is tasteless and inappropriate, then they are guilty of glorifying difficult but factual truths. There is NOTHING offensive about this film. There is, however, much that is challenging.Jesus Willem Dafoe , an honest carpenter, saves Mary Magdalene Barbara Hershey from a stoning. Already dimly aware that he is destined to lead an extraordinary life, he soon finds himself being drawn into the role of a religious figurehead. But Jesus finds it hard to accept that he is a Messiah, and as his reputation and following grows he constantly questions if he is a strong enough man to handle the burden of being God's son. After isolating himself in the desert, where he experiences several hallucinations in which he is confronted by visual manifestations of good and evil, Jesus finally concludes that he IS the true son of God and whole-heartedly sets about imparting his love and wisdom to all who'll listen. Later betrayed to the disgruntled Romans by his friend Judas Iscariot Harvey Keitel , Jesus is crucified. While on the cross, he imagines what his life would have turned out like if he had shied away from his duty as the Messiah and lived life like a mere mortal.It is this final section of the film that has provoked the most vociferous outrage. The sequence shows Jesus as he slowly dies on the cross, dreaming of an alternative life in which he sins and copulates and hates like all normal people. Many people have criticised the film on the grounds that these scenes are blasphemous. Such claims are nonsense - the film is not saying that Jesus was a sinner, nor that he gave in to temptation of the flesh, nor still that he was a man filled with hate. The film is merely saying that, in such great pain and so close to death while still just a young man, he might - just maybe - have wondered if it was all worth it. At the end of the film, we see Jesus accept his role knowing that his death is the ultimate act of unselfish love, so the film actually is totally in agreement with what all Christians believe. If the film had come to the conclusion that Jesus's whole life was a waste, his death too, then maybe the detractors would've had cause to complain. But how can they possibly be offended by the film as it stands? For goodness sake, it's a film about absolute faith!!! In truth, The Last Temptation Of Christ is an excellent movie. Compellingly acted, beautifully shot on Moroccan locations, and full of telling ideas, it is a work of real depth and power. The accents are sometimes distracting and some of the dialogue occasionally betrays ill-suited modernisms, but apart from these minor drawbacks it is one of the most important and thought-provoking films ever made.
Despite what its critics say most of whom haven't even seen the movie , "The Last Temptation of Christ" is one of the most deeply religious movies I have ever seen. What makes it so powerful is that it does not portray Jesus as an all-righteous, preachy figure; it portrays Him as a man. He was the son of God, but more importantly He was human. He could hurt, love, feel pain and joy, and He could make mistakes just like any of us. He had to overcome temptation. Martin Scorsese, for whom this was a long labor of love, directs a beautiful movie with all around excellent <more>
performances, particularly Harvey Keitel as Judas and Willem Defoe as Jesus. The "Last Temptation" segment which draws most of the movie's criticism, is the most important part of all because it shows how close God truly is to us, if only those critics would watch the movie before judging it, they might realize that.
The struggles of the man called Jesus impressively portrayed. (by luv4sinners)
As a Christian, I found this a most impressive portrayal of Jesus attempting to discover what it meant / would mean to become the Christ. If the historic personage Jesus bar Joseph was truly human ... the creeds declare that he became fully man ... then this could well be a good portrayal.Non-Christian and some anti-Christian friends of mine actually felt that the film was far too pious. The film, like the book, raises several important questions about the nature of faith!Tha pacing of the film managed to convey a sense of following the stages of the central characters self-discovery and <more>
Christianity teaches that Jesus was human, yet the son of God. Being simultaneously both is one of the religion's many vaguenesses, and the matter of this unrelentingly personal vision, neither based on the Gospels nor against them. Though not born with the mark of sin, to be human, Jesus would've had to be victim to temptation, having free will. As the son of God, he'd naturally have instigated the most serious deceit of Satan. And if you think Christ's efforts are invalidated by the titular sequence, wouldn't it take a man that long to understand what God understands? <more>
I'm not religious, but here's a film that fully engages me on the figure of Christ. His mission is as abstract to him as to us, only learning bit by bit how he must transform and eventually sacrifice himself. He's acting on the emotions and psychology of a person, baffled, disturbed. He confesses early on that he's not the son of Mary and Joseph but of God, so he thinks this is Satan talking, and believes he's the most terrible sinner. Somehow, this Jesus makes sense, a Jesus with a grave dilemma. It seems more reverent to his divinity to show how tempting human life is. How tempting free will is, rather than the responsibility of being Messiah.The film opens with enough audacity for a whole movie in the eyes of most religious zealots. It presents Judas as morally superior to Jesus, who is collaborating with Roman oppressors. Judas then surveys the entire inhuman process in which Jesus plays a direct part. I think Jesus' hand in this tortuous act is meant to be some displaced attempt to fulfill his ultimate act of carrying his own cross. Many of our wrongdoings as people tend to be mistaken efforts to fulfill what we believe we're supposed to do, aren't they? Or to escape responsibility.What are the odds of a human being obediently assuming the responsibility to die horribly? Didn't Jesus-the-guy theoretically have a right not to becomes Jesus-the-god if he didn't want to pay such a horrific price and define his whole life by it? He's passionately chastised by Judas, as well as Mary, between johns. This gives so much more genuine-feeling poignancy to his later defiance for anyone to continue stoning her if anyone can say they've never sinned than whenever they told me in school. He says it with authentic humility, knowing those ugly insides of being human all too well to be commanding them in belief that he's the son of the universe. It's even more poignant, and powerfully timeless, when this first attempt at a message of love is taken by the angry hoard as a message of death.Another sensitive consideration is the earnest expression by Christ's peers of qualms, even jealousy in his being ostensibly Chosen. Even beyond Judas and Mary's righteous indignation, one fellow tells Jesus that every day he yearns to hear God's voice, has dedicated his life to God's affirmation of his soul, and we can see that it hurts and confuses him that Jesus, who's collaborated with the Romans, who frequents the presence of a prostitute, is the one God chose. This is a spiritual conflict that shoots straight into the heart of the burning questions all people have about God: How many people have questioned their faith and often lost it owing to an overpowering sense that their best efforts at being good are going unreciprocated, unnoticed, or disdained by an onslaught of tragic experiences, while people of little moral compass, wisdom or human contribution reap unprecedented benefits, without reciprocating the good fortune as you would. What a bold, refreshing approach to put pressure on Christ as a protagonist, to show him as one of us, striving to be good despite the high personal cost of his ultimate accomplishment. Even bolder to hear him say that he'd give in to any and all temptations, vices, crimes and rebellions, that the only reason he doesn't is because he's afraid. Do religious people worship and abide by the dogmas because of altruistic impulses, or because they're afraid?Sometimes thinking too much about the use of modern everyday American dialect in 30 AD, it seems to lose credibility. But Schrader is neither too erudite nor crude. He and Scorsese subtly tread the fine line of having what's said be entirely of the period and tradition while giving them the most straightforward way to say it. Verna Bloom, strongly moving in her few scenes, gives us a Mother Mary who, emotionally, sacrificed in equal measure with her son. Still, there are times when the "we commend thee to our God" content of the dialogue being given a Flatbush or Lower East Side texture seems more along Julie Taymor lines than Visconti, Welles or Rossellini. What's even more powerful is Jesus' low-pitched inner-voice narration, powerfully reminiscent of the quiet, intimate commentary of Terrence Malick's main characters.There's more than one way to consider the Christ story. Otherwise, why would there be more than one Gospel? As well as one of Scorsese's labors of love, this is also as abstract as Kundun, perhaps more disjointed as well: The images of Satan as fire and snake, the ambiguous reality of the eponymous temptation, import twice the abstruseness of Taxi Driver's final scene or Cape Fear's red skies. Such is religious lore. Many gaps, many questions, but nonetheless infinite passion. Religious viewers will understand. For those of us without religious beliefs, this film is prone to arouse more significant contemplation on the character of Jesus than any other ever made.
An Interesting Film, Though the Controversy is Hyped (by gavin6942)
The life of Jesus Christ Willem Dafoe , his journey through life as he faces the struggles all humans do, and his final temptation on the cross.There are things I liked about this and things I did not. The idea of Jesus as a cross-maker was clever and it was an excellent twist. I loved the casting of Roberts Blossom. I loved the question: is the foundation the body or the soul? I even liked the interesting take on Paul, who could easily be said to be just as much an influence on Christianity as Jesus himself.I notice that Harvey Keitel's performance as Judas Iscariot earned him a Golden <more>
Raspberry Award nomination for Worst Supporting Actor, and I agree. Keitel is a great actor and he works well with Scorsese, but I just felt he was out of place here. Sure, much of it was out of place in its own way, but Keitel was not convincing for me.Roger Ebert wrote that Scorsese and screenwriter Paul Schrader "paid Christ the compliment of taking him and his message seriously, and they have made a film that does not turn him into a garish, emasculated image from a religious postcard. Here he is flesh and blood, struggling, questioning, asking himself and his father which is the right way." This is an excellent point. While the film may be offensive to some, it does raise the valid point that Jesus was half human and had the issues that humans have. To portray him as simply perfect is too easy.