Biography of Martin Luther (Joseph Fiennes), the sixteenth century priest who led the Christian Reformation, and opened up new possibilities in exploration of faith. This movie begins with his vow to become a monk, and continues through his struggles to reconcile his desire for sanctification with his increasing abhorrence of the corruption and hypocrisy pervading the Church's hierarchy. He is ultimately charged with heresy and must confront the ruling Cardinals and Princes, urging them to make the Scriptures available to the common believer and lead the Church toward faith through justice and righteousness.Written by
There are sixty-six screen credited actors and actresses. Of those, sixty-one are actors, and five are actresses. See more »
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[giving a lecture]
When I became a monk I believed the monk's cowl would make me holy. Was I an arrogant fool? Now they have made me a doctor of divinity and I am tempted to believe that this scholar's robe will make me wise.
Well, God once spoke through the mouth of an ass, and...
Perhaps he is about to do so again. But...
[leaves his rostrum and starts walking around in the classroom. The students follow him very interested with their eyes]
I will tell you straight what I ...
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The beauty of Luther is its drama and its casting. Joseph Fiennes did what he does best as the angst-riddled Luther, playing a complex and haunted character that filled the screen even in his quietest moments. The supporting cast was also fabulous, particularly the merry-in-the-face-of-danger performances by Bruno Ganz and Peter Ustinov.
What's troubling, then, about Luther is that the movie just isn't long enough to portray the story accurately, and therefore it feels not only unfinished but full of gaps. Things happen one against another, people come and go with little explanation, and yet the story marches on. Luther's mission is clear, but his purposes are so boiled down that only a few of his famous Theses are actually voiced in the movie. Shortening the story was obviously necessary for a movie, but in all, I think it acts against the dramatic effect of the film as a whole because things end up with a certain disjointed feel.
Still, the cinematography is brilliant and the acting nearly perfect. The film is worth seeing for its visual splendor (in both performance and sets) alone, and certainly as an introduction to a complex historical topic.
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