I downloaded the Young Messiah to watch, and...
WTF? Everyone acted like ordinary human beings. I liked them... Mary was not the ethereal lady of many films but a believable housewife, and the Joseph character was especially a nice surprise, since he is usually overlooked or made grumpy in "religious" films.
The problem with most religious movies is that people act like they are cult figures spouting "religious" stuff they have memorized. You see the "schizophrenia" or "true believer" blank stare in believers. I mean, another recent "religious" film, Risen, got good reviews by some, but no one except the main character seemed to be real.
Here, people are people: good people, down to earth people trying to do their best in a world of chaos and cruelty and revolution.
For "believers", it might cause a problem: Much of it was based on the ancient stories left out of the bible, but stories that most Catholics learn as the charming stories of Jesus' boyhood but as stories, not as real...
and a lot of the blanks were filled in by adding historical data of what was going on back then.
and it does bring up a point: If God humbled himself to be a true man, it mean his intellect was limited by his neurological cognitive abilities of a child.
So did Jesus know he was God? Or did he sense it and sort of know? I figure the first, but Rice takes the second position. Class, discuss.
and I had to look up if the son of Herod the Great who ruled Judea was as crazy as he was portrayed: Yup he was.
The movie is based on Anne Rice's book. Yes, that Anne Rice, of the Vampire books, who found Jesus for awhile and did some exploring of his life and decided to write a book about it.
I remember reading one interview with her, where she mentioned that after reading many of the "modern" biblical scholars, she was aghast, because they seemed to hate Jesus. How could a person spend his academic life exploring a person they hated, she wondered, be it Jesus or Shakespeare?
But I suspect she might have hit on something there...
So anyway, a nice movie that strict believers might hate (because it is "non biblical"), but as a film it works. A bit slow in these days of X men, but worth watching when it hits HBO. (It hasn't been in theatres here yet).