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2.6 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-4 of 4 reviews(5 star)show all reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This is one of my top ten films (out of several hundred i've seen) from any country -- the script is brilliant and razor-sharp, the performances marvellous, the scope of it stunning; very few films are so deeply moving and yet hilarious at times (though Arcand's "Barbarian Invasions" comes very close). The film also rates a 10 for trenchant social comment, philosophical depth and soaring music. But the main reason i'm adding a review here is that it bothers me to see the film's "star" rating dragged down by a raft of reviewers who gave one star to an earlier DVD version because it lacked English subtitles. The Koch Lorber version is not lacking in this respect, as the subtitles are fairly well done, and the sound is quite good too. Visually this DVD is disappointing, as it presents a film shot in 1.85:1 in a 4:3 format, and the picture cries out for remastering. But as of 2012, the Koch Lorber is the only half-decent DVD of an incomparable cinematic masterpiece. I would give it 15 stars if i could.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 17, 2003
I have seen this video 3 times and am thrilled to be able to purchase the DVD.
Those who are looking for a straightforward retelling of the story of Jesus' life should look elsewhere. If you find it upsetting to see people asking questions about faith, the questions this movie raises may disturb you. However, for those who enjoy thinking about what it means to live according to the principles that Jesus taught in the face of contemporary North American culture, this movie is a "must see".
The basic premise of this movie is that the priest in charge of Montreal's annual passion play invites a group of actors, some of which have been doing quite unsavory types of work just previously, to update the play. When the changes they make upset the political hierarchy (much as Jesus' teaching did 2000 years ago)conflict builds to tragedy. I don't want to spoil the movie by going into details of plot or character. Suffice it to say that both are complex and yet work together to create a thoroughly satisfying work of art.
What can I say? I love this movie.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2004
Thank god someone has finally released Jesus of Montreal on DVD with English subtitles. It appears that the new DVD release published in November 2004 by Koch Lorber is now available from Amazon. Oddly, the package artwork and slogan ("passion is absurd"? Give me a break!) bear no relationship to the film. Hopefully the odd marketing does not reflect on the quality of the film transfer and subtitles.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2004
Jesus of Montreal is an allegory in which a troupe of actors experience the life of Jesus of Nazareth as they strive to rework a passion play to make it more contemporary and "relevant." I first saw the film in 1990, and it touched me deeply, challenging me to reconsider my understanding of Christian faith. Great art strikes home, and no other film has given me such cause to ponder. It remains my favorite film.
BEWARE, however, because as other reviewers have warned, the DVD edition Amazon sells provides no English subtitles for the French dialog. My copy arrived in the mail today, and I am returning it to Amazon unopened. I should have paid more attention to what the other reviewers wrote.
It appears that an edition with English subtitles has been released in Europe and Australia, but it is in PALS format and not compatible with Region 1 (NTSC) DVD players. Such a disappointment, as my French is just not adequate to the task without some support from the subtitles.
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