Thursday, April 1, 2010

Amazing Grace - 2006

Amazing Grace

PG for mature theme
My Rating: 5 stars

Ioan Gruffudd
Romola Garai
Benedict Cumberbatch
Albert Finney
Michael Gambon
Rufus Sewell
Youssou N'Dour
Toby Jones
Ciaran Hinds

I love movies that teach me something. Amazing Grace is history, a pure love story, examples of great perseverance and courage and an eyeopening glance at slavery.

William Wilberforce was one of the youngest men to ever enter Britain's parliament. He was wealthy, popular, handsome and busy with his life. Then God came calling... and Wilberforce answered. He was filled with a peace and joy he had never experienced before. But his life suddenly seemed empty of purpose. Everything seemed foolish and worldly: his billiards, his associates, his house, his accomplishments... and especially Parliament.

Billy stepped in. Billy was Wilberforce's best friend. He intended to become Prime Minister before he was 30 and he wanted Wilberforce to be his right hand when it happened. “Would you still give up Parliament if you had a good cause to fight for?” he asked. He introduced Wilberforce to a group of people fighting to get the slave ship trade abolished in Britain's Empire. Wilberforce is intrigued. At first, he is hesitant to become involved because they seem so radical but as he learns more about the atrocities of the slave ships, he can't help himself and becomes Britain's greatest... and most insistent... voice urging the abolishment of the slave ships.

Through the years, he works unceasingly, his health failing, making enemies, gaining unlikely friends and losing his best friends... until he's a completely broken man, not good for anything or anyone, he thinks.

And then he meets Barbara.
What I Liked:
1: The entire cast... if you can have perfection, this is it. Each actor was perfect for their character. In fact, this is a movie that I don't think of the characters as actors, acting. I feel as though I am living the story and these are real people, doing real things, living real times.
2: The story. It was so compelling that I began reading about William Wilberforce and the times surrounding him.
3: What pure, beautiful love story it holds, amongst the history and gruesome details...
4: The humor. It's very laughable... the line about the rabbit in brandy sauce is hilarious.
5: How well they did their research. If you get a chance, watch/listen to the commentary. It's fascinating.

What I Didn't Like:
1: Styles of the day were long and low. Lots of cleavage. It's too bad because the story would have been so much better without it. :-P

I highly recommend this movie for history, good story and morals. It's an inspiration. This movie ranks in the top ten of my favorites.

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