What You Need To Know:
(B, L, V, S, M) Fundamentally accurate portrayal of biblical story of deception & redemption; 4 mild profanities; man slaps & shoves woman, man strikes another man, two men wrestle, & 4 animal deaths; cultural adultery & polygamy -- Jacob has 2 wives plus sons by 4 women; and, 1 act of theft without consequences -- Rachel steals her father's false idols.
The TNT cable TV special JACOB is a fundamentally accurate adaptation of the biblical story of Jacob, son of Isaac and Rebekah and brother of Esau, who sins against God by deceiving his father but is redeemed through his faith in God. Isaac, Abraham’s son, is ill and nearly blind. His wife, Rebekah (played with conviction and intensity by Irene Papas), fears for the future of the family. Upon Isaac’s death, leadership will fall to their eldest son, the earthy playboy Esau, instead of her favored son, the gentle healer Jacob. Desperate, Rebekah convinces and enables Jacob to deceive his father and receive the eldest son’s blessing. When Esau finds out, Jacob flees his brother’s wrath and goes to live with his uncle Laban.
The land itself (the movie was filmed in the Moroccan Desert), the cinematography and the movie’s supporting cast are the strongest elements in JACOB. Matthew Modine has several striking moments as Jacob, but his characterization does not deepen to match Jacob’s spiritual growth. TNT’s portrayal of the details of biblical life, however, is beautifully authentic. Equally remarkable are Lara Flynn Boyle and Juliet Awbrey in the roles of Jacob’s wives, Rachel and Leah. The movie contains brief violence and a few exclamatory profanities as well as positive portrayals of biblical characters.