Amazing Grace (DVD)

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Description

Michael Apted, whose claim to fame until now has been the respected 7 UP documentary series, directs this lavish costume drama whose heart is as big as its budget. Though a marked departure, Apteds idealistic interests are well served by the story, which is based on the true tale of the 18th-century British politician William Wilberforce (Ioan Gruffudd, who played Horatio Hornblower in the HORNBLOWER series). Though as a young man Wilberforce is torn between politics and the church, he is inspired to action by John Newton (Albert Finney), a penitent monk who is haunted by his past as a slave-ship captain. Wilberforce makes it his mission to end slavery in the British Empire, and, aided by a small band of radical thinkers and unlikely supporters, he annually presents a bill for abolition to Parliament. When the war with France generates a patriotism in the people that makes opposition to slavery seem seditious, Wilberforce becomes disillusioned, and he retires to his cousins (Nicholas Farrell) house, physically ill and emotionally destroyed by his perceived failure. When he meets the beautiful and righteous Barbara Spooner (Romola Garai, AS YOU LIKE IT), however, he gains new determination to pursue his dream of abolition. The talented cast includes Michael Gambon as Lord Fox, an old gent who turns out to be more lucid than anyone would have guessed, as well as Senegalese musician Youssou NDour as Oloudaqh Equiano, a regal former slave turned activist. Terrence Malick (BADLANDS), who produced the film, leaves his mark in the stunning visuals.

Product Details

Barcode
6009834760009
Department
Movies & TV
Released
12 Nov 2007
Type
Movies
Format
DVD
Genre
Religion
Region
Region 2
Language
English
Studio
Global Creative
Supply Source
South Africa

Movie

Title
Amazing Grace
Release Year
2007
Running Time
111 min
Language
English
Categories
Dramas / Slavery / Theatrical Release / Thriller / True Story
US Box Office
$21.0 million
Official Website
http://www.amazinggracemovie.com/
Ratings
IMDb
7.5
Rotten Tomatoes®
68% 85%
Metacritic
65
Synopsis
Michael Apted, whose claim to fame till now has been the respected 7 UP documentary series, directs this lavish costume drama whose heart is as big as its budget. Though a marked departure, Apted's idealistic interests are well served by the story, which is based on the true tale of the 18th-century British politician William Wilberforce (Ioan Gruffudd, who played Horatio Hornblower in the HORNBLOWER series). Though as a young man Wilberforce is torn between politics and the church, he is inspired to action by John Newton (Albert Finney), a penitent monk who is haunted by his past as a slave-ship captain. Wilberforce makes it his mission to end slavery in the British Empire, and, aided by a small band of radical thinkers and unlikely supporters, he annually presents a bill for abolition to Parliament. When the war with France generates a patriotism in the people that makes opposition to slavery seem seditious, Wilberforce becomes disillusioned, and he retires to his cousin's (Nicholas Farrell) house, physically ill and emotionally destroyed by his perceived failure. When he meets the beautiful and righteous Barbara Spooner (Romola Garai, AS YOU LIKE IT), however, he gains new determination to pursue his dream of abolition. The talented cast includes Michael Gambon as Lord Fox, an old gent who turns out to be more lucid than anyone would have guessed, as well as Senegalese musician Youssou N'Dour as Oloudaqh Equiano, a regal former slave turned activist. Terrence Malick (BADLANDS), who produced the film, leaves his mark in the stunning visuals.
Notes
Theatrical Release: February 23, 2007 (Limited)
Poster
Poster for Amazing Grace
Cast & Crew
Director
Michael Apted
Star
Robert Roy Collins / Benedict Cumberbatch / Nicholas Day / Albert Finney / Michael Gambon / Romola Garai / Georgie Glen / Ioan Gruffudd / Ciaran Hinds / David Hunt / Toby Jones / Rufus Sewell / Jeremy Swift
Screenwriter
Steven Knight
Composer
David Arnold
Producer
Patricia Heaton / Terrence Malick / Ken Wales
Movie Critics
Empire
3 stars out of 5 -- "Michael Apted's film intrigues both an an intimate character study of William Wilberforce and in highlighting a cause that resulted in a sea change..."
Kat Brown (1 Sep 2007, p.144)
Movieline's Hollywood Life
"[T]he fun of the movie comes from the political intrigue among a very diverse group of politicians duking it out in Parliament."
Stephen Farber (1 Jan 2007, p.98)
New York Times
"It has been confidently directed by Michael Apted, who invest Wilberforce's fight with a strong sense of conviction..."
Manohla Dargis (23 Feb 2007, p.E10)
Sight and Sound
"AMAZING GRACE ostensibly represents Michael Apted's re-engagement with serious dramatic film-making....Solid period drama."
Lucy Dylan (1 Mar 2007, p.45)
Ultimate DVD
3 stars out of 5 -- "This is an instantly accessible film that never allows melodrama to belittle the powerful story that lies at its core."
Natalie Braine (1 Aug 2007, p.127)