Wednesday, April 27, 2011

There Be Dragons Review ... Simcha Fisher Likes Half of It

Let’s start with the good. The best part was, happily, Charlie Cox, who plays Opus Dei’s founder, Josemaria Escriva. Knowing very little about the actual man, I had none of the mental baggage that can trouble a fan (“That’s not how I pictured Mr. Tumnus!”). The Fr. Josemaria he portrays is a strong, happy, humorous man who is not like other men. When he commands a room with quiet authority, you feel it. Despite the drama that surrounds him, his actions are not hammy or melodramatic. You care about him, and want him to succeed. When he learns to love everyone he meets, you believe it, and you feel glad that you met him, even if only on screen through an actor. There are several original and memorable scenes which demonstrate the humanity, holiness, and appeal of the man.
I concur.

However, even though I saw an incomplete version in January, it looks as if they may not have changed it substantially from what I saw, based on Simcha's review.

Tom and I didn't have any trouble keeping track of the various stories and actually were intrigued by what we learned of the fighting that was going on when Josemaria Escriva was alive. So, depending on what got changed, you could say we liked it better than Simcha did.

I do agree, based on what we saw, that it was not a bad movie but it wasn't a great movie. Definitely worth seeing, but not the best that could be done in terms of making a great film or compelling story. The "hokey" angle was definitely there and I was hoping that it would be smoothed out some. Evidently not.


  1. Have you seen Of Gods and Men? Hands down, best Catholic or even religious movie I have ever seen. It's been playing in indie theatres and has already won awards at the Cannes festival. It's a masterpiece, and based on a true story.

  2. I've heard it is great and want to see it. Just haven't had a chance...