Monday, November 5, 2012

Jonathan's Favourite Things - Amazing Grace

Ioan Gruffud and Youssou N'Dour in a scene from Amazing Grace.

This movie tells the story of William Wilberforce, a great man from the 19th century who almost single handedly brought down the slave trade in trhe British Empire. Highly inspirational, there is a moment near the end which gives me the tingles and makes me realise I could change the world.

I learned from Wilberforce's story that if someone passionately stands for a cause and perseveres, working at it for a lifetime, it is possible to change things. Wilberforce was inspirational. His struggle to keep on going is portrayed thoughtfully. The character of his wife Barbara (Romola Garai) helps him to rediscover his passion for helping the slaves.

Romola Garai created the look for her character with collaboration with the filmmakers. The striking red hair was her idea. For a movie, this works spectacularly, and along with her sparky personality gives us an immediate reason to like her. The Barbara and William's marriage is portrayed as supportive, devoted and strong. What a great example of old fashioned commitment to your spouse.

Director Michael Apted (The World is Not Enough, The Chronicle of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader) makes a period piece which appears somehow modern. The characters are vibrant, varied and well defined. The political drama surrounding the abolition of slavery is well played, with comic relief provided by Lord Fox (Michael Gambon).

This is a fine film, one that not only inspires us to action, but is worth watching over and over again.

Go to the Amazing Grace Website.
Or at imdb: