Is More a bore? (Or at least in the Bolt version?)

Speaking of English saints (or would-be saints, as in the case of Newman, below)...In today's NYtimes, reviewer Ben Brantley broaches the unspeakable:

Is it heresy to whisper that the sainted Thomas More is a bit of a bore? Even Frank Langella, an actor who can be counted on to put the pepper in mashed-potato parts, doesnt find much variety in the monolithic goodness of the title character of A Man for All Seasons, Robert Bolts 1960 biodrama about Mores road to martyrdom during the reign of Henry VIII.

I haven't read the play since high school, and catch the Scofield film in bits and pieces here and there on cable. But my sense is that Brantley may be right--about the play, not More. (Or Langella, a reason to see the play whatever its merits.) Certainly, the play's timing is pretty good, coming in the midst of a campaign. Does anyone with a better memory or judgment than mine have a better take on the play, or the martyr Thomas?

David Gibson is the director of Fordham’s Center on Religion & Culture.

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