Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Mary Magdalene movie review – toothless attempt to overturn Sunday school myths

By Peter Bradshaw
Rooney Mara brings her customary intensity to the title role as Jesus’ ‘favourite pupil’, but the result is a bit too solemn to be a convincing reinvention
This movie, from screenwriters Helen Edmundson and Philippa Goslett and director Garth Davis, sets itself a bold task: to rescue Mary Magdalene from an age-old tradition of patriarchal condescension and misinterpretation. And yet it winds up embracing a solemn, softly-spoken and slow-moving Christian piety of its own. The film suggests – quite persuasively – that the peace-loving and quietist message of Christianity was finally understood by Mary, but not the macho male apostles. But the drama’s need to forgive Judas and Peter makes the story toothless. And the dreamlike vision of Mary Magdalene floating underwater is a bit of a cliche. The performances of Mara and Phoenix are careful and respectful, though with nothing like the lightning-flash of energy and scorn that they have given to secular roles in the past. [More]

Movie Release: "Mary Magdalene" (March 30, 2018); Director: Garth Davis; Writers: Helen Edmundson, Philippa Goslett; Stars: Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix, Chiwetel Ejiofor