Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Passion of the Christ (2004) (2nd time)

A film detailing the final hours and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. [imdb]

Nominated for 3 Oscars:

Best Cinematography
Best Original Score
Best Makeup

I’m first to admit that religious films are hard / impossible to do in a right way which satisfies everybody. I wouldn’t have seen Passion of the Christ again, had it not been for Easter and I also wanted to give it another look, as I felt strongly about it years ago. I’m a Christian, and that’s an important factor. But even so, unlike others, I don’t see it in a… documentary way, to put it like that. I got lost into it a lot, but I also had an eye on the movie making elements.

It’s a good film with very special details to it. Of course, the cinematography is perfect and overall I think it deserved to win at least for its nominations, even with such strong competition. James Caviezel was as good as it gets for such a role and it’s silly his performance was not recognized and neither did Mel Gibson’s direction. I might have a problem with the screenplay at times, especially when trying to make it accessible to the masses: the building-the-table scene, the ruins of the temple and such Hollywood stuff which throw it off balance and make it lose its credibility.

But the direction was really special… I actually think it’s should’ve been raw all the way and more European, because it’s in those scenes that it is most powerful. The scenes with Him on the cross are the most unforgettable. To me, it remains a movie with flaws, but a lot of powerful powerful powerful stuff in it, both due to its subject (of course), but also in a movie-making aspect (the cinematography is spectacular especially in the crucifixion scene).

My rating for the film: 8.5/10. James Caviezel was incredibly right for the role.


  1. Maia Morgenstern was robbed of a nomination and win for Supporting Actress. Her performance is the only time I've really felt a connection to the Blessed Virgin. That's props, too, to Gibson's direction and the screenplay by Gibson and Benedict Fitzgerald.

  2. Interesting you say that :) as u might know she is Romanian, just like I am and she's a very well known actress here.

    but the performance is familiar to me. she tends to be a very Norma Desmond actress all the time :) if u know what I mean. and it might work for this role.

  3. It's easy to forget just how much of an impact Passion had, breaking box office records left right and centre. Perhaps that's a shame - I'm sure if it had been less successful in the Rep. heartlands then Hollywood would've have seen it for the glorious piece of filmmaking that it is.

    And I fully concur with Walter's comments about Margenstern - a fully rounded and compassionate performance that deserved some recognition.

  4. I just watched it again.

    A very great film. Of course, some parts are better than the others, but the most painful scenes are actually the best. Mary running to Jesus after he drops the cross, the scourging at the pillar, the crucifixion - all great scenes.

    Just so so so so so powerful. Unforgettable movie.