The movie AMAZING GRACE- any interest?

This weekend, Walden Media’s film AMAZING GRACE opens, showing Parliamentarian William Wilberforce’s (Ioan Gruffudd) fight to end the British slave trade, his balancing his faith with his political career, and the influence of his pastor John Newton (Albert Finney), former slave-trader & writer of the hymn “Amazing Grace”.

Who’s planning on seeing this?

I’m planning on seeing it eventually, but probably not opening weekend. I don’t think it will come to my local theatre, all my friends are going to be out of town, and I hate seeing movies alone.

Barbara Wilberforce’s costumes are absolutely amazing, and I don’t even like Romola Garai.

I want to see it, but I doubt that it’s opening here this weekend. Maybe in a few weeks.

Mrs. Piper was a bit dubious about going to see a movie about a battle in parliament to enact laws relating to navigation and slavery, until I showed her the trailer with Ioan Gruffudd. She’ll watch any movie with Mr. Gruffudd. :slight_smile:

And then, of course, the trailer has to have the completely anachronistic pipe band playing the tune. ::sigh:: oh well, can’t be any worse than uiellean music coming out of a highland bagpipe in Braveheart.

very minor spoilers; not worth being boxed

Saw it tonight, thought it was so-so: nicely acted and designed, but a bit over-earnest, and unevenly plotted and paced. It was not quite the movie I expected to see, either (God, how many times has that been said!), though that’s my fault since I didn’t research it enough before going to see it. I expected more of a hands on look at the evils of the slave trade and how it worked and was abolished in the British Empire. But we get very little of that – some brief, murky flashblacks of slaves working on Caribbean sugar plantations, a visit to an (empty) slave trip docked in a British port, a couple speeches in Parliament, and that’s about it. Rather, the movie is much more a biography of Wilberforce and the people around him. So we get scenes of him racing across fields with his college chums, falling in love, fighting a laudanum addiction, developing legal strategies, etc. If you love BBC-style costume dramas/biographies you might really like it, but otherwise I’d wait for it to arrive on video.

As a side note, I noticed that one of the producers of the movie was Patricia Heaton. The name rang a bell, but I thought it couldn’t be the one I was thinking of. But indeed it was – TV’s Debrah Barone from “Everybody Loves Raymond”! Who would have guessed it – seemed like a British production through and through.

My mother, who rarely goes to movies, told me today that she’s planning to go.

For anyone interested in Wilberforce and the history of abolition, I highly recommend Adam Hochschilds’s Bury the Chains, which does a masterful job of setting the whole story in context while describing the major figures.

The timing of the release of this movie is not coincidental; this year is the 200th anniversary of the Act of Parliament that ended the British slave trade. Last Thursday, BBC Radio 4 ran an excellent 45 minute program on Wilberforce to commemorate this event. Until this Thursday, you can listen to it online here.

anyone else seen it yet? it still hasn’t opened in my area.

There are a few films out I want to see more, but I’ve been surprised by the quantity of good reviews from critics I like/respect, so I definitely do plan on seeing it–hopefully soon (it’s been out here at least 2 weeks now).

We saw it the other day and it became my favorite movie of the year so far (well, it and Black Snake Moan, though this one comes out a bit ahead just because of the emotion it caused). Where it will be by the end of the year I can’t say, but I’m very glad I went to see it, even though I knew nothing about it. I thought it was a history of the song and didn’t know it had anything to do with slavery, but see, I didn’t read ANYTHING before I went and obviously I had no knowledge of why the song was written, or I would have had an inkling. The poster looked good, I like period dramas, and we needed something to see at that particular time, so we thought, what the heck. I ended up being astonished by it, that a simple historical drama could affect me so much. I thought it was deeply moving and spent a good portion of the film dabbing a napkin to my eyes, because they were filling up every few minutes. I loved everything about it, the story, the acting (especially Albert Finney), the sets and costumes and look of it, the fact that it slapped me upside the head and told me to pay attention.

For someone who grew up reading non-fiction and history books for fun, this week at the movies has proven me to be woefully, embarrassingly ignorant. Not only had I never heard of the events behind the movie 300, I never even knew that Great Britain HAD a slave trade! As with 300, I spent a lot of time after returning home reading up on the history behind the film.

zagloba, thank you for the tip about the book Bury The Chains, I just bought it at amazon.

This is not a movie that will be remembered come Awards season, and a damned shame too. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to listen to the song “Amazing Grace” without crying now. And I’m an atheist! The movie was a great reminder that there are/were Christ-like Christians, those who take their faith to heart and use it to help others less fortunate. That’s really hard to remember nowadays.

A great movie, about a great cause, in an amazing time in history.

One strange thing: when the opening credits played, I gasped at Youssou N’Dour’s name in the credits. I knew him well as a musician and had seen him in concert (both with and without Peter Gabriel) and I had no idea he was an actor too. While watching the movie, I kept wondering who was the actor playing the former slave-turned-author Oloudaqh Equiano, and it wasn’t until the ending credits that I realized, slaps forehead, THAT was Youssou N’Dour! He sure looks different from when I saw him, and he’s becoming a fine actor too.

Ooooooh. Me too. I had only heard of the movie title, and didn’t really know anything about it. Especially not that Ioan was in it. I’d go see it now if it was about him picking nits off monkeys, though I actually do have some interest in the topic.

So, yes.

How do you pronounce Ioan? He was fantastic, and made you deeply feel what Wilberforce was feeling. Although I haven’t seen any of his television work, I know I’ve seen several of the movies he’s been in, but hadn’t really noticed him until now. I will never forget him.

I wish I wish I wish the movie had used Hollie Smith’s gorgeous and unusual version of “Amazing Grace.” There are so many different versions of the song, but hers is my favorite. (the link is to a page where there’s a sample of it, and if anyone wants to hear the whole thing, it’s the first song in the podcast.)
I had never heard of Benedict Cumberbatch before (he played William Pitt the Younger, the Prime Minister friend of Wilberforce’s) but I saw him twice in two days, very dignified and compassionate in this, and the next day as a dorky university student in Starter For 10. I hope to see a lot more of him. I also didn’t recognize the beautiful Romola Garai until I later realized she was Cassandra in I Capture The Castle.

I listened to him say it himself on a website somewhere, which I can’t find again. It sounded like Yow-an Griffith, except the Griffith was much more dark and full than an American would say it. That doesn’t make much sense, reading it over again, but I can’t think how to explain it.