As my wife and I sat down to watch this movie, we jokingly said, "Well at least we won't be hearing the F word every other sentence, there won't be any gratuitous sex scenes, or violence and gore." Instead, JOSHUA gave us both an exceptionally inspirational evening.
Director Jon Purdy knowing he wasn't going to be filming a shoot em up or even a hells a fire movie, relies instead on the simply beautiful story of a young man named Joshua who comes into the little town of Auburn and gives the religious people there a sense of community and belonging. In spite of the stereotypical hardhearted priest, Joshua bonds with the assistant pastor, and all the people in the town, regardless of their denominational preference. He helps rebuild a Baptist church; he goes to a Christian rock concert, and ultimately he has an audience with the Pope.
I can't praise this movie enough for the sense of love and acceptance it portrays. Tony Goldwyn gives his most effectively controlled performance of a stellar career; evoking the soft masculinity of a carpenter and the embodiment of friend and brothere, Goldwyn is perfectly cast. His final scenes with F. Murray Abraham and Giancarlo Giannini as the Pope are delivered with such quiet intensity, their impact is boundless.
Abraham is wonderful in a thankless role; his moment of epiphany, though sudden and brief, is awesomely presented. Kirk Fuller as Father Pat is the movie's comic balance, but there is a warmth and understanding in his performance that makes him all the more believable.
This movie made us feel good; it made us think; and its power of faith and love was inspirational. We loved this movie and thank Purdy and his crew for bringing us such a warm and simple affirmation of what's good in the world.