I don't get Barbara Nicolosi and her ilk.
I agree that the hype is unnecessary.
But the movie does have a point, one that I can't fail to see: the choice not to abort. The movie explores that choice and depicts a day in the life of a woman making that choice. Every time the camera lingered or the action merely consisted of two actors walking, it was about that choice that was being made in two hearts. It's a movie about healing and time well spent. It's an Emmaus walk. It's a film that depicts human relationship, without being artsy or cinematic or false or cliche. It allows the audience access to the emotional journey going on in Eduardo's character, a journey that leads to a decision to be redemptive.
Barb seems more put-out by the hype. Okay, so they need to rethink their marketing strategy. What does that have to do with the quality of filmmaking? She pans it.
Really Barb? was it that bad? Is it vastly different than the type of unique lighting and angles one sees in Sundance films and those other movies with the laurel leaves on the cover? Considering the nature of the story, is it so farfetched that they chose a look that was more stark? But you say that there was no story...did you really miss the whole thing about not aborting her child? Did you not get that in the course of a day someone helped someone else see a better way by being with and for instead of against? How is that not Christ-like?
Was it the simplicity you didn't like? The honesty of the portrayal? But she also pans the portrayal. The characters lacked motivation. But I thought the entire film centered around a single aspiration...namely, to save the life of a child...which you know walking into the film that it's going to be pro-life, so they didn't have to bash you over the head with it...it's handled very beautifully in fact, the way that scene is inserted into the story at that moment as a flashforward.
Which you found made the whole thing boring because now you know what's going to happen and the rest of the film is a waste of time. But you don't know what he whispered into her ear. You're left until the end to put that together. And in the meanwhile, two people are entering into each others' vulnerability. That's only 'gooey' to people who are callous and cynical. Not surprisingly, New Yorker didn't like the movie.
It's not the greatest movie of all time. But I got verclempt, and I admire a movie that can get me verclempt. The scene where he's embracing his mother reminded me of the scene in "Passion" where Jesus says "Behold I make all things new". It struck the same chord. That's not Precious Moments-- that's real and true! That's being honest and heartfelt. I didn't like Touched by an Angel either because it relied on that week after week. But for a film to include it shouldn't automatically be grounds for dismissal. Otherwise we would walk into movie theatres only prepared to engage our intellect.
But if one were to write a film about the choice to save a life, would one go into it expecting to engage minds or hearts? Naturally, one would opt for the latter considering that's the only way to reach people on this issue. When they are in that moment of crisis on the operating table-- they aren't going to be won over by an appeal to logic. Eduardo's character makes his appeal by being in loving relationship. Over the course of a day. Entering and inviting and healing.
For another positive take, see this article from the CERC.
Maybe it's being lauded because it's a movie that takes an audience on a type of journey that's so rarely done in cinema. That it's trying to reach people on this issue in particular, which of course pro-choice groups wouldn't fail to minimize. That it does so in a form consistent with other indy films means that Barb's beef is not with this film in particular, but the type of filmmaking the indy genre sets out to be: irregular, flawed, and decidedly non-professional. But if that's where the modern cinematographer is at, should we boo the Christian cinematogrpaher for joining them on their own turf? Lots of movies receive laurel leaves at film festivals that are not so deserving of the acclaim, and they usually have postmodern ennui as their running motif. Here that type of film gets transformed by depicting Truth instead of nihilism, Christ instead of the banal. I would think that Barb would be ecstatic. Isn't this the goal behind Act One: making something as bad/warped as the modern film industry as a vehicle for Good?
I don't get Barbara Nicolosi and her ilk.