"You know you're having a bad day when furious readers write to complain that 'it didn't really happen that way.'"
I had a great laugh when one of my colleagues posted this on Facebook last week!
But despite all the doubts (and precisely because of all the controversy), Darren Aronofsky's Biblical epic Noah was last week's box office champion, recovering most of its $125 million dollar production cost in its very first week on the big screen.
Should you go? In my home, we have a split decision. I say yes. My husband Rich says no. I completely understand why Rich (sitting in the seat next to me) kept shaking his head, but despite all its flaws (and there are many), I found Noah to be a very powerful on screen experience.
I have had my ups and downs with Darren Aronofsky's films over the years. I was one of the few people who genuinely liked The Fountain. I met with Aronofsky when he came to show it at our 2006 Chicago International Film Festival, so I have a first-hand feel for his spiritual side. But after the box office failure of The Fountain, his ambition drove him to seek commercial success and he found it with Black Swan (which was nominated for 5 Oscars in 2010).
Me, I hated Black Swan, but now that Aronofsky has used his clout to make Noah, I've decided to roll with the punches. Yes, some of the special effects are preposterous and for sure I could have done without Ray Winstone's rampages as Noah's archenemy "Tubal-Cain."
But at its core, Aronofsky's Noah is the journey of a man who is called to be a hero, rising to the occasion and then suffering in the aftermath. Seen this way-my way-Noah is in the tradition of some of cinema's greatest films such as 12 O'Clock High (1949), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), and Schindler's List (1993).
Noah is playing this week at theatres all around Metro Chicago including the River East, the ShowPlace ICON, and the Navy Pier IMAX (in the city), and the Evanston Century 12/CineArts, the Muvico Rosemont, and the Regal Gardens at Old Orchard (in the suburbs). For a complete listing, click here for Fandango.
Read more about Noah on my Blog Second City Tzivi.
Photo: Russell Crowe as "Noah," with Jennifer Connelly as his wife "Na'ameh." Photo Credit: Niko Tavernise