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When I first heard about The Case for Christ, my first reaction was to lump it in with many of the other existing Christian movies that, although wholesome, fall flat in regards to script writing and acting and delivery categories. However, upon realizing the depth of the cast (Mike Vogel, Erika Christensen, Robert Forster, Faye Dunaway, L. Scott Caldwell, Frankie Faison and Jordan Cox), my interest was piqued. It wasn't until I read three pages of reviews by prominent Catholic endorsements, however, that I knew that I couldn't pass this one up.
The Case for Christ is based on the true story of Lee Strobel, an atheist and hard-hitting journalist who finds himself at a crossroads when his wife, also an avowed atheist, suddenly announces her new-found faith in Jesus. Horrified at the thought that he has lost his wife to a cultish and illogical form of thinking that is tearing his marriage apart, he sets out to change her mind.
Using the exceptional investigative skills that had propelled him to his recent promotion to legal editor at the Chicago Tribune, he pursues the biggest story of his life: debunking Christianity. What he eventually finds is not what he expects, resulting in a shake-up to the very core of all he had previously believed.
First, let me begin with echoing the words of Matthew Pinto, Publisher of Ascension Press.
"Conversion can be a challenging road for anyone, as evidenced in our own life experiences and through the characters in The Case for Christ. Balancing very real human emotions with the compelling hard evidence for Christ's resurrection, this movie takes viewers on an emotional odyssey that culminates in beautiful expression of Gods saving grace. Objective minds will be challenged."
For my review, I would love to point out several aspects of this movie truly caught my attention.
Number 1: The acting far exceeded my expectations. In particular, I found the relationship between Lee and his wife Leslie real and refreshing with a depth and feel for the characters that played out very well on screen. Mike Vogel succeeded in bringing the character of Lee Strobel to life, producing a seamless connection between his emotions and those of the viewers. I would, however, have liked to see a little more depth in Leslie's character and spiritual formation (through no fault of Erika Christensen), but with movie length limitations being what they are, it would have been difficult to develop this fully.
Number 2: The Catholic presence in the movie and the weight that the words of Father Jose Maria Marquez (played by Miguel Perez) bore on the transformation of Lee were surprising and refreshing. In today's world it can be challenging to find even an acknowledgment of the Catholic faith in many contemporary Christian films. However, the words of Father Marquez (one word in particular) became an actual pivot point in this film. I also loved the reference to Our Lady through the use of the camera as well as the attention given to the Shroud of Turin. (Although the viewer must remember that recent developments in proof of the shroud's origination were not available in the 1980's.)
Number 3: The climactic scene was delivered perfectly. Without giving anything away, I LOVED this scene for its simplicity, camera work, acting and ability to hone in on emotions necessary for its effectiveness and delivery.
All in all, I would definitely recommend this movie to teens and adults. Some semi-graphic images depicting a crime scene, a dramatic scene in which a child is choking, as well as marital arguments resulting in tears may make the film not suitable for children.
For those script buffs, you will find similar issues to other scripts created from already written works. However, I am pleased to say that these issues had little impact on the effectiveness of the film.
I truly hope you have a chance to check out The Case for Christ. I encourage you to click on the link to the trailer below to get a better idea of what all of the fuss is about!
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The Case for Christ !! Just fill out the entry form below.
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Sunday, August 27th., 2017.
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May your Lent be truly fruitful and fill you with longing for His Resurrection!
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Hi! I'm a Catholic mom who loves to encourage and support others in their journey to live the beauty of our Catholic faith in a modern world. It can be a struggle, no doubt, but God has given us the tools we need! Join my family (both immediate and extended!) and me as we take on this incredible journey of our path to holiness.
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