The Controversial 'Noah'

Jennifer Connelly and Russell Crowe star in a scene from the movie "Noah." The film is one of several biblical epics Hollywood is expected to release in coming weeks. (CNS photo/Paramount) (Dec. 9, 2013)

The Hollywood Reporter offers some interesting details about the forthcoming movie Noah and the internal battles to balance fidelity to the biblical story with the creative vision of director Darren Aronofsky. According to the article, 

The trouble began when Paramount, nervous about how audiences would respond to Aronofsky's fantastical world and his deeply conflicted Noah, insisted on conducting test screenings over the director's vehement objections while the film was a work in progress.

Friction grew when a segment of the recruited Christian viewers, among whom the studio had hoped to find Noah's most enthusiastic fans, questioned the film's adherence to the Bible story and reacted negatively to the intensity and darkness of the lead character. Aronofsky's Noah gets drunk, for example, and considers taking drastic measures to eradicate mankind from the planet. Hoping to woo the faith-based crowd, Paramount made and tested as many as half-a-dozen of its own cuts of the movie. "I was upset -- of course," Aronofsky tells The Hollywood Reporter in his first extensive interview about the film's backstory. "No one's ever done that to me."

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I haven't seen the movie or read any part of the script, but it seems odd to me that people would reject a portrayal of Noah as intense and dark. I mean, imagine you're Noah, and you hear God say: "I see that the end of all mortals has come, for the earth is full of lawlessness because of them. So I am going to destroy them with the earth." (Genesis 6:12) In the wake of that little update, how is Noah not supposed to be intense and dark? Putting aside the story's figurative nature, how would any normal human not be driven into gloomy introspection by the news of annihilation? People are driven to drink after a tough day at the office; how about the imminent end of almost every mortal? I think we can cut Noah and the filmmakers some slack. 

Apparently, filmmakers worked out their frustrations, and Paramount Vice Chairman Rob Moore is confident that the film will resonate with Christian audiences:

At the same time, he says the film reflects "the key themes of the Noah story in Genesis -- of faith and hope and God's promise to mankind." The studio is aware that a vocal segment of Christian viewers might reject the film over accuracy. Still, Moore says, "Our anticipation is that the vast majority of the Christian community will embrace it."

Full article here.

 

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Stanley Kopacz
4 years 6 months ago
In the shadow of an environmental catastrophe brought on by human indifference and greed, I am interested in whether this theme will be woven into the story. Russell Crowe as a dark, brooding Noah seems like it will work.

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