Wednesday, 17 May 2006

Amazing Grace (2006, i think)

We went to a film preview tonight. And I don't mean a "the movie's not officially released until tomorrow but we got permission to show it today" type preview.

When we went to see MI3 last week, a guy approached us and asked if we'd like to see a free movie that hadn't been released yet. After confirming a few things with us (in the right age bracket, seen one or more of a list of similarish films, interested from the blurb, etc) he gave us a bit of paper with a number to call and confirm we would come. I rang the number, the guy asked for our genders and ages and gave me a confirmation number. We were told to be there by 6.30 and I'm glad we arrived at about 6.20 because we were close-ish to the front of the queue and got to pick decent seats in the PACKED cinema.

The film was called Amazing Grace and was great. There were no proper titles or credits and they warned us it might be a bit rough around the edges, but it really didn't affect our enjoyment at all. It is the story of William Wilberforce, the English MP who led the charge in the abolishment of the slave trade. It centres around parliament and all the stuff they have to go through to get the bill passed by a bunch of old jerks, I mean Lords, who have financial interests in the slave trade.

I just went and read some stuff from other people who've seen previews and they complained that it didn't show enough about the actual slaves and what they experienced, but I totally disagree. True, they showed very little of actual 'slaves', but they manage to powerfully convey the horrible conditions and circumstances the slaves were put through. And I liked that, even though the final outcome is somewhat obvious, you don't feel as though they're just heading for the prewritten conclusion and trying to give you a history lesson.

The acting was great - some very famous names in the cast list (including Dumbledore and Horatio Hornblower, I mean, Michael Gambon and Ioan Gruffudd) - and the settings and cinematography beautiful. So when it finally comes out, I recommend seeing it. Oh, and the title obviously comes from the song by John Newton, who features as a character almost as much as his song does.

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