The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)

2016 #17
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.

4 out of 5

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