Since there has been some discussion in recent posts about the New York Times, and in particular its Christmas editorial (sans reference to the origin of the holiday), I can’t resist offering you this little tidbit.
In a review of Alejandro González Iñárritu’s new film “Biutiful,” critic A.O. Scott (!) notes that the protagonist of the story, played by Javier Bardem, is a fairly obvious Christ figure.
But Scott is unimpressed by González Iñárritu’s theology. He contrasts the gritty naturalism of the film’s visual style with a sentimentalized version of redemption that reminds him of a Nicholas Sparks novel. The result being “a feel-bad art film with an uplifting message for everyone.”
Here’s the paragraph that caught my eye:
Mr. González Iñárritu does not have the stomach for the stringent moral and spiritual vision of authentically (or even experimentally) religious filmmakers like Carl Dreyer, Robert Bresson or the Dardenne brothers. Instead he traffics in a vague theology of uplift, wherein the road to an entirely abstract heaven is paved with noble instincts.
I don’t think that needs any comment. But I did find it refreshing. Coming, as it does, from the New York Times. ;-)