- Starring: Russell Crowe (Gladiator), Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind), Anthony Hopkins (The Rite), Emma Watson (This Is The End), and more.
- Directed by: Darren Aronofsky (The Fountain).
- Synopsis: “Russell Crowe stars as Noah in the film inspired by the epic story of courage, sacrifice and hope. Directed by visionary filmmaker Darren Aronofsky”
- Rating: PG-13 for violence, brief frightening images and suggestive material.
- Must-Watch Trailer:
First and foremost…Noah is a movie. Let me get that out there. It is not, nor should any movie for that matter, be considered a source for doctrine or the sole source for Biblical truth. It is a rendition of the Biblical account of Noah that tells a tale visually well but also very different than as it is recorded in the Bible. People on both sides of the belief of the Flood need to know that (1) the recorded events surrounding the Flood did not all occur as the movie portrays, and (2) Paramount and director Darren Aronofsky never said that this film presented all events as according to how the Bible describes them. (My own personal beliefs as a Bible-believing Christian cause me to wish that the film did adhere to the Bible’s account of the Flood as this one uses the Bible as merely a guideline as opposed to a screenplay.)
Official disclaimer from Paramount on http://www.noahmovie.com:
“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.” –Press release
Biblical epics are the current flavor of Hollywood again it seems. With prior classics such as The Ten Commandments, it has come time again for films such as Son of God, the upcoming Ridley Scott film entitled Exodus (recently retitled “EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS”) and this film, Noah, to reach the big screen. When it comes to Noah, I couldn’t agree more with director Darren Aronofsky’s own sentiments on the film:
“[Noah is] the least biblical biblical film ever made.” -Darren Aronofsky
Aronofsky presents a film using one of his major strengths: visual presentations. The pre-Flood world that he delivers on screen is both vast and visually beautiful. Although the pacing and timing jumps quite a bit, the visual aspect is a treat to enjoy. The entire time I was looking forward to seeing how Aronofsky would present the rains coming down and the floods going up, but when the Flood finally came, it seemed so unsatisfying and anti-climatic.
The cast, adequate in parts, really were less believable than desired. While Russell Crowe carries the extent of the acting, the additional members/characters felt more like time-fillers and drama-dealers than contributors to the overall film. (Emma Watson disappoints, Logan Lerman broods, Jennifer Connelly cries and Nick Nolte mumbles). Again, a beautiful film that suffers from less-than stellar acting, editing and story. Even with the creative licenses that definitely steer this ark of a film in some very different directions darker than expected, Noah does very little to explain several different elements because it ignores (to a large degree) the main character in the entire account of Noah: God –and doing so makes it difficult to bring any type of credence to Noah’s character and presents him as simply one very crazy, suicidal and altruistic man.
Noah, at its core, is an environmentalist movie that teaches that because of “what man has done to the earth” (and not “what man has done” [sin]), the Creator will destroy the Earth and that man is responsible to care for the Earth and keep it well (A pre-historic Inconvenient Truth). Looking for any type of further meaning in this film is rather futile. (and that is one of my main issues with the movie as a movie…its source material is NOT about environmentalism.) Oddly, the animals, the rain, the Creator…they are all major downplayed afterthoughts and it minimizes the story as a whole. The film begins in a very expected manner and then capsizes and shows itself to be a completely different type of movie that just doesn’t fit and leaves very little feeling of happiness or satisfaction once the waters recede.
I do not blast Aronofsky for making the movie that he wanted to make, but this version just doesn’t work so well. The story, the acting, the subtext, the editing, it just didn’t jive like it should have. Beautiful, with aspects better than expected still, Noah put some images to imagination and is definitely “the least biblical biblical film ever made.” It wouldn’t have hurt to open up the Bible and use a bit more of it such as the reason Noah was chosen, the reasons for the Flood and more. Regardless of beliefs, it serves little purpose for any movie to ignore major elements of its source…and Noah does…and it hurts it.
My Score: 2.5 out of 5 stars for Noah
(Remember, to read this review of mine and over 250 more, check out THE ARCHIVE of movies I have reviewed anytime. Know before you go…or rent…or buy!)
Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!
–T, The Focused Filmographer