If you live in America's Heartland, Mary Magdalene probably won't be the best movie to bring up over supper.
Like The Last Temptation of Christ, the latest from director Garth Davis (Lion) looks to be putting a humanizing spin on both Jesus (played here by Joaquin Phoenix) and witness to his crucifixion/possible lover, Mary Magdalene (Rooney Mara). Not a novel concept (so let's do away with the whole "untold story" angle, Universal Marketing Dept.), though certainly one that's always sure to be controversial.
Take a look:
Set in the Holy Land during the first century C.E., Mary leaves her small fishing village and traditional family behind to join a radical new social movement, led by an enigmatic leader. This is Jesus of Nazareth, who promises that the world is changing for the better, and that his teachings can help ensure that. Mary is searching for a new way of living, and an authenticity that is denied her by the rigid hierarchies of the day. As the notoriety of the group grows and more are drawn to follow Jesus’ inspirational message, Mary’s spiritual journey places her at the heart of a story that will lead to the capital city of Jerusalem, where she must confront the reality of Jesus’ destiny and her own place within it. Light beach reading, really.
Joining Phoenix and Mara are Chiwetel Ejiofor and Tahar Rahim as Peter and Judas, respectively. No release date has been set as of yet, but expect the movie to cause much debate, revealing those old high school friends from Facebook who obviously don't read a whole bunch and/or watch any Scorsese movies beyond his gangster pictures.