Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Scott Landry

3/13/2014 (9 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

I was invited to attend a screening of the movie Noah on Thursday March 6.  The movie starring Russell Crowe as Noah (and including Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson, Anthony Hopkins and Ray Winstone) is set to be released on March 28, 2014.  While reviews are embargoed, I wanted to share a few specific thoughts in response to all the chatter out there from people who haven't seen the film.

Noah is worth seeing for Catholics.

Noah is worth seeing for Catholics.

Highlights

By Scott Landry

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/13/2014 (9 months ago)

Published in Movies

Keywords: Noah, movie, catholics, reason, see, watch, release date


There has been some concern expressed in the Christian community due to the fact that the movie is not a literal depiction of the scriptural account of Noah (chapters 5-9 from the Book of Genesis).  There has also been concern expressed about the choices the director and screenwriters made adding details to the account that weren't in Genesis.  For example, how did Noah build an ark that big?  How did Noah react to the death and destruction of all things living in the world outside of the ark?  Did Noah's contemporaries know the floods were going to come and what (if anything) did they do to fight for their lives?  How did 7 pairs of each animal come to be in the ark and stay calm for months on board?

Paramount Pictures, who is distributing the film, responded to these concerns by clarifying on the movie's website and promotional materials, "The film is inspired by the story of Noah. While artistic license has been taken, we believe that this film is true to the essence, values and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide. The biblical story of Noah can be found in the book of Genesis."

I think this is a helpful clarification in case anyone would have assumed that the account would be literal.  For my part, I don't understand why anyone would have assumed that an epic movie could have been done literally only on the material in the Book of Genesis, as the Biblical account wasn't written with the detail or for the purpose of a two-hour screenplay. 
 
Here's why I recommend this film to Catholics:

(1) It inspired me to read the Scriptures again, closely - Preparing to watch the move made me read the chapters in Genesis (5-9) that tell the story of Noah.  I also was moved to reread the chapters after the movie.  Frankly, it had been years since I read these chapters as they are not frequently part of the readings at Sunday Mass.   One of the Catholics I watched the movie with remarked after immediately it that it makes her "want to go back and read the biblical account of Noah."   Any movie that drives people to read the Scriptures once again is a very good thing.

(2) The movie gets the big aspects of Noah's role right.  Noah receives a life-altering task from God and faithfully executes it.  At a human level, the movie provides an interpretation of what this experience must have been like for Noah.  Some Christians will appreciate the interpretation; others might not like the presentation of Noah as conflicted.  It's simply an interpretation.  Any rich telling of this story on the big screen required some artistic license on the question of how did Noah personally cope with this massive task.

(3) It's great that Hollywood is making big-budget biblically-inspired epic films.   This film cost $125 million to produce.  It has a stellar cast and fantastic visuals.  It is great to go to the movies and see a gripping movie about a key story from the Scriptures.
 
(4)  The film will spark great conversations.   One of the first words I used to describe the movie was "intense."  After the movie, the small group of us had a fascinating discussion about aspects of the movie.  We wanted to know what others thought and felt.   The movie provokes questions on important topics such as good and evil, life and death, aspects of Noah's life, and how God is present with us in the world.  I am grateful that the Noah movie will do this for viewers.
 
(5) The Noah movie can foster what Pope Francis calls a culture of encounter.  Specifically because the film isn't a literal, biblical account, because it has a great cast and because it is visually-appealing epic blockbuster, many people that would never describe themselves as religious will be open to seeing it.   Consequently, it allows us to invite those of different faiths and those away from the Christian faith to join us for the movie.  Much good can come from the post-movie discussions.  Hopefully some of those discussions lead those involved to also encounter God in prayer.
 
(6) The movie should make us more aware of evil and goodness in the world.  Seeing how good and evil is presented in the movie made me consider how both evil and goodness is present in the world today.  In Noah's time, God saw so much evil that he chose Noah to give the human race a new start.  The characters in the movie struggled realistically with the sin, violence and evil within them.  We live in a culture that often chooses to downplay and avoid discussing the effects of sin and evil and the need to promote life-affirming values that lead to virtuous choices and service.  This movie may produce some reflection on this.
 
 
(7) The movie makes a strong pro-life stand.  At one of its most pivotal moments, the movie is powerfully pro-life.  Without giving the story away, a character faces a choice to eliminate innocent, defenseless human life or to choose to protect and defend it.  I hope that those who consider themselves "pro-choice" will see that scene and be open to a change in their views.  Unborn girls and boys are vulnerable, voiceless and innocent too.  
 
(8) The movie treats life as an incredible gift from God.   Noah and his family understand the gift that God gave them in letting them live and to being part of God's plan of salvation.  It similarly treats the world and nature as incredible gifts that we must responsibly steward.  These are strong Christian messages.

Scot Landry | @scotlandry | slandry@TheGoodCatholicLife.com

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More Movies

KOWTOWING TO NORTH KOREA: Sony cancels theatrical distribution for 'The Interview' Watch

Image of

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

It is the most disgraceful bit of news to come from the film industry in many years - and it's not over the scandalous behavior on the part of actors, directors and other creative personnel . Sony Pictures says it's pulling the theatrical release of the film ... continue reading


'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' rakes in $125 million overseas before U.S. debut Watch

Image of A debut at around $70 million, however, would put

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

"The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies," the concluding chapter of director Peter Jackson's version of the Tolkien tale will open in the U.S. today. The final installment should earn between $70 million and $75 million for the five days, according to ... continue reading


'Transformers 4: Age of Extinction' tops list of films imported to China Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Snooty American film critics may have turned their noses up at it - but China got their Transformers on with "Transformers 4: Age of Extinction. The U.S. film sequel, based on a series of popular toys in the 1980s, was China's biggest grossing foreign film this ... continue reading


Tim Burton, Michael Keaton may reunited for 'Beetlejuice 2' - maybe Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Among the most unsteady and unreliable of all worlds is the world of the Hollywood sequel or remake. Director Tim Burton, currently promoting "Big Eyes" and actor Michael Keaton are busy these days, but there is a chance that the duo may reunite to do a sequel ... continue reading


Actor Harrison Ford reported 'on board' for 'Blade Runner' sequel Watch

Image of In the original

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

"Blade Runner," based on Phillip K. Dick's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" was released to confusion and indifference when it was first released in 1982. Audiences found it too slow and too dream-like, accustomed to they were to the slam-bang space ... continue reading


Move over Hollywood - CHINA set to eclipse Hollywood as world's largest film and media giant Watch

Image of China's film industry is now the largest in the world.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Perhaps lured by the heady success surrounding show business, Tembusu Partners, a private firm based in Singapore has sunk a $100 million investment into China's media and entertainment industry. The agreement has teamed up media magnate Calvin Cheng as well as the ... continue reading


Actress Catherine Deneuve accepts lifetime achievement award - with lethal wit Watch

Image of At 70, actress Catherine Deneuve is still very much active in films.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

Internationally renowned for her timeless beauty and contributions to classic films for nearly half a century, actress Catherine Deneuve. Receiving a lifetime achievement award in Berlin at the European film awards, Deneuve accepted her award with some biting wit. ... continue reading


Footage of Walt Disney's first cartoon star, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit turns up near Arctic Circle Watch

Image of After losing control to the Oswald character to Universal Studios, both Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks created the far more popular Mickey Mouse in retaliation.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Sooner or later, everything that is lost is found again. Walt Disney's first animated hero, Oswald, the Lucky rabbit predated Mickey Mouse and was created by Disney partner Ub Iwerks. Very little, if any footage of Oswald had survived - until a short subject ... continue reading


Honoring best in TV, movies, Golden Globe nominations for 2015 announced Watch

Image of There was good news for Meryl Streep, who gained praise for her role in

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Celebrating the very best in film and television, the nominees for the 72nd annual Golden Globe Awards have been announced. There were some surprising nominations, along with some surprise snubs in the list of nominations. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ... continue reading


Budgeted at $300 MILLION, new James Bond production advised to 'use less trains' Watch

Image of Super spy James Bond lights up the screen once again in the forthcoming sequel

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Seeing as the previous entry in the James Bond movie franchise, "Skyfall" raked in over a billion dollars, the budget for the next film in the series, "Spectre" is set at a staggering $300 million. The producers are showing some restraint: the latest directive ... continue reading


All Movies News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Samuel 1:24-28
24 When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, ... Read More

Psalm, First Samuel 2:1, 4-5, 6-7, 8
1 Hannah then prayed as follows: My heart exults in ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 1:46-56
46 And Mary said: My soul proclaims the greatness of ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Chaeromon
December 22: Bishop of Nilopolis, in Egypt. When the persecution was ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter