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09/19/2004 Archived Entry: "The Reckoning"

JUST WATCHED AN ENGAGING AND VERY MORAL MOVIE LAST NIGHT. The Reckoning starring Paul Bettany and Willem Dafoe. The critics (like this one) savaged it. It was hardly flawless. There's a bit too much 2004 sensibility in that supposedly medieval world. But it still held me from start to finish.

In 1380, a young priest on the run from his own sins falls in with a troop of traveling players. Their traditional plays aren't drawing the money they need, so when they arrive in an isolated town where a woman has just been condemned to death for the murder of a young boy, they decide to create a play about it. The audience reaction shocks them ... and there ensues a search for the deeper, darker secret behind the crime. I liked this film on a lot of levels, but most of all because of its theme: ordinary, flawed people can -- and should -- stand against everything, including the might of church and state, when they know they're right on an important, lifesaving principle. The film also does a sadly good job of showing why many people accept evil in exchange for security.

Reading some of the reviews I got the sense that critics didn't so much dislike the movie as fear and resent its position.

Posted by Claire @ 10:13 AM CST

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