THE ADVOCATE

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Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: August 24, 1994

Starring: Colin Firth, Ian Holm, Nicol
Williamson, Donald Pleasance,
& Amina Annabi

Genre: Historical mystery

Audience: Adults

Rating: R (originally NC-17)

Runtime: 101 minutes

Distributor: Miramax Films

Director:

Executive Producer:

Producer:

Writer: Leslie Megahey

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Content:

(H, LL, V, SSS, NNN, O, M) Rationalistic theme of reason over superstition in Medieval setting; 16 obscenities & 4 profanities; brief violence; graphic fornication & implied fornication (between priest & woman); frequent upper female nudity, full frontal & rear male nudity; animism, bestiality, witchcraft, brief mention of astrology; and, priest acts in lewd play & another priest discusses the temptation to seduce women at confession.

Summary:

A lawyer asked to defend an unusual client on a murder charge battles superstition and the feudal and ecclesiastical authorities to get to the bottom of a series of disappearances and killings in THE ADVOCATE, a courtroom thriller set in 1452 and based on actual cases from the Middle Ages. The movie is witty, suspenseful and intriguing but is rendered unsuitable for most audiences by graphic sexual content and extensive nudity.

Review:

THE ADVOCATE, a courtroom thriller set in 1452 and based on actual cases from the Middle Ages, is a witty, suspenseful and intriguing film in which nothing turns out to be what it seems. A lawyer who has forsaken Paris for what he thinks will be the idyllic life of a small town is drawn into a web of religious, political and sexual intrigue when he is asked to defend a most unusual client on a murder charge. The lawyer overcomes superstition and the feudal and ecclesiastical authorities to discover the truth behind a series of disappearances and killings but finds he is powerless to bring about any real justice.

Writer/director Leslie Megahey has adroitly blended wit and suspense in this British-made film, subtly leaving us guessing about what is sinister and what is ordinary and where those overlap. The film is a gold mine -- or perhaps, a minefield -- of difficult theological issues, from witchcraft, to the authority of the Medieval church, to the relationship between Christians and Jews. It realistically portrays the often-horrific superstitions and attitudes of the Middle Ages without condoning them. Ultimately, though, the film is made unsuitable for most audiences by graphic sexual content and extensive male and female nudity.

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