Beautiful in Look and Spiritual Content
Release Date: February 23, 2007
Starring: Ioan Gruffudd, Albert Finney,
Michael Gambon, Benedict
Cumberbatch, Romola Garai,
Ciaran Hands, Rufus Sewell,
and Tom Knight
Genre: Historical Drama
Audience: Older children to adults
Runtime: 111 minutes
Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn Films and
Director: Michael Apted
Executive Producer: Jeanney Kim
Producer: Ken Wales, Patricia Heaton,
Terrence Malick, Edward R.
Pressman, and David Hunt
Writer: Stephen Wright
Address Comments To:Samuel Goldwyn, Jr., Chairman/CEO
Meyer Gottlieb, President
Samuel Goldwyn Films
9570 West Pico Blvd., 4th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone: (310) 860-3100
Fax: (310) 860-3195
Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff
421 South Beverly Drive, 8th Floor
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Phone: (310) 789-4710
Fax: (310) 789-4711
This is the story of William Wilberforce, who led the fight to stop slavery in 18th Century England. After a young life of debauchery, William came to Christ at the age of 25. He believed he was called by God to stop the slave trade and reform morals in England.
The movie begins with William talking to his friend, Prime Minister William Pitt, about the need to reform morals and stop slavery, and then cuts to his conversion. It shows how a group of Christians, concerned about the abolition of slavery, led by Wilberforce and inspired by the ex-slaver trader John Newton (who wrote the lyrics to the hymn “Amazing Grace”), tirelessly work year after year to get the English Parliament to abolish slavery.
The movie is deeply concerned with faithfulness. It shows William’s battles with his weak constitution and chronic pain, his struggles with laudanum (a medicinal form of opium), and the fierce opposition he faced in Parliament. In the midst of his fight for morality and against slavery, William’s wife brings joy and happiness to his life. She changes him from being a morose character to being a happy person.
Ioan (“Ian”) Gruffudd (“Griffith”) does a wonderful job as Wilberforce. In fact, the directing and acting in this movie are superb. There are two anachronistic lines. For instance, Wilberforce says that his pet hare is a million years old, but nobody at that time thought of the earth as a million years old.
AMAZING GRACE is captivating to watch and inspiring in its Christian content. Since THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, there has not been a movie with such strong Christian testimony. Best of all, the testimony is on the side of freeing the captives, feeding the hungry, taking care of the needy, and having a practical, deep Christianity that involves faith in action. It deserves four stars and deserves commendation.
That said, this is an historical movie, and the plot follows the history so closely that it has trouble fitting in the necessary dramatic plot points. A little judicious editing might give the movie a tighter, more dramatic storyline. Whether or not that happens, AMAZING GRACE is a great movie and will be an inspiration to all who see it.
Ioan (“Ian”) Gruffudd (“Griffith”) does a wonderful job as Wilberforce. The directing and acting in this movie are superb. The movie is captivating to watch and inspiring in its Christian content. Best of all, the content is on the side of freeing the captives, feeding hungry, taking care of the needy, and having a practical deep Christian that involves faith in action. AMAZING GRACE deserves four stars.