Friday, January 21, 2011

We Saw a Rough Cut of "There Be Dragons" Last Night

It was a very rough cut with scenes missing, on video instead of the final media, that sort of thing. I can't write a review but I can tell you a few things ...

It is the story of Josemaria Escriva, told through flashbacks by a father to his journalist son who has been assigned to write a book as Escriva is about to be canonized in the movie's current-day timeline. In a sense, it is an anti-DaVinci Code because it shows the beginnings of Opus Dei as God's work intended for all people. Certainly it is an interesting look up close at the Spanish Civil War from the point of view of Escriva and his childhood friend (a fictional character whose life is intertwined with Escriva's in a way that shows us the contrast between being open to love and forgiveness and rejecting them).

Tom and I both found it absorbing.

You need have no fears about a Hollywoodization of either St. Escriva or the Church. Escriva is shown as a priest in a real, human occupation (or as they'd say in the Church, vocation). He is somewhat idealized but with faults and frailties that any human experiences in their attempts to live life the right way. I was totally impressed by how often I saw monstrances in the movie, often empty but still there as reminders of the centrality of the Eucharist. As well, the Eucharist is treated in a completely respectful way, especially if a threat comes along.

It will be in theaters on May 5 and I would plan to see it. You can read more about it here.


  1. Wow! Thanks so much for point this out. I completely missed it.

    I am very interested in St Escriva.
    Introduced to him thru "In conversations..." and then moved on to "The Way" and those short commentaries by him.

    I will keep and eye out for this locally. I'm afraid this is not the type of movie that comes around my local theaters. But, there is always Netflix!!!


  2. They said they expect it to roll out in 600-1,000 theaters which is a pretty decent run. So that is promising for most towns. Not sure about yours, of course. :-)

  3. I hope so, Julie.

    I am excited too because the director is Roland Joffe. He directed "The Mission" which I one of my favorite movies. The Mission is a very powerful movie. I suppose it does not show the Church in to positive a light but the individual priests were...
    The Ennio Morricone soundtrack is hauntingly beautiful.

  4. They also said that this was a return to his movies like The Mission and The Killing Fields. So ... there you go. It sounds tailor made for you. :-)

    I am interested to see what the missing pieces were. It was a bit rough in places and I'm assuming those were the bits still being worked on. But we liked it well, nonetheless.