Martin Scorsese | 156 mins | TV (HD) | 16:9 | USA & Canada / English | 15 / R
Scorsese tells the story of Jesus in this controversial epic adapted from Nikos Kazantzakis’ novel. I have no idea how much is actually rooted in scripture — a disclaimer is keen to establish the film isn’t based on the Gospels, but obviously that’s just to appease the devout.
However, the contentious parts are its strengths: it humanises Jesus, as he shows uncertainty about his God-given role and the earthly concerns that tempt him. Willem Dafoe makes Christ a plausible human, but Harvey Keitel’s Brooklyn-accented Judas feels like a spoof.
It’s a little overlong, but an interesting interpretation of the Messiah nonetheless.
Debbie Isitt | 109 mins | Blu-ray | 1.78:1 | UK / English | U
David Tennant replaces Martin Freeman as the teacher of a primary school class who enter themselves in a Christmas singing competition in this part-improvised sequel to the endearing 2009 hit.
Sadly, lightning doesn’t strike twice. A talented cast (also including Joanna Page, Jason Watkins, Ian McNeice and Jessica Hynes, all of whom are underused) struggle with an over-padded story, which leads to a climactic concert full of charmless, cringeworthy songs. There’s some sweetness from the kids, but not enough to paper over the cracks.