Wednesday, February 28, 2007


There is a new movie being released that I believe could be life-altering.

It's called AMAZING GRACE and it is the story of William Wilberforce and John Newton. (0fficial site is

I saw the preview for this the other night on tv and instantly was on board because it stars Ioan Gruffudd, who is best loved for his role of Horatio Hornblower and sadly probably better known as Reid Richards from the Fantastic Four. I am a huge Hornblower fan, having all episodes on DVD and so yesterday I went to the official movie site.

Made by the makers of "RAY", the cast is stellar. Gruffudd, Albert Finney, Romola Garai, Rufus Sewell, Ciaran Hinds, Michael Gambon....just to name a few. And let me tell you, if you can go to the site, watch the video clips there and NOT need tissues, you have a cold, hard heart. I didn't even make it through the first trailer. By the end, when I got to the clip "The Story behind Amazing Grace" I was in a full-blown crying jag.

When Band of Brothers came out, it changed the way I not only watched television but the way I viewed the world. I think this movie could have the same effect. Wilberforce was often a lone voice in trying to stop the slave trade and Ioan was the perfect choice for this role. I am reminded of Horatio in the short clips I watched....he's young, principled, energetic, willing to stand up...yet always with this sense that he's feeling things quite deeply. This will sound strange but I am SO proud of him for taking on a role like this. I truly believe it is the role of a lifetime, not in box office terms but in relevance and the intricate richness of the character.

Based on the clips alone, Albert Finney should be in line for an Oscar. How anyone can not be touched by William's impassioned pleas, I don't know. When William says, "No matter how loud you shout, you will not drown out the voice of the people!" I lose it every time. And when Finney, as a blind John Newton says he knows two things: "I'm a great sinner and Christ is a great saviour", it is the stuff of legend.

It's not out here yet, but when it is, I'm absolutely going.

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