Friday, April 25, 2014

Leap of Faith (1992)

IMDb plot summary: Fake faith healer Jonas Nightingale is stranded in a small town where he finds he can't fool all of the people all of the time.
Directed by Richard Pearce. Starring Steve Martin, Debra Winger, Lolita Davidovich and Liam Neeson.

(Some somewhat vague spoilers ahead about the ending.)

While most of the movie websites bill this as a comedy, there aren't a lot of out-and-out laughs in this movie, and the questions it raises about religion and faith are serious enough that the best parts of this movie are the dramatic ones. While the faith tradition I come from is a lot less showy and charismatic than the ones depicted here, I have been to plenty of healing/revival type church services during the year I worked with the New Life Drama Company, so watching Steve Martin take on the role of the seemingly passionate evangelist was a little surreal.

While I'm not sure yet if I'm *entirely* satisfied with how the movie ended, there's a part of me that did enjoy the way the events of the last 20 minutes or so are not really explained. I appreciate when faith-related movies don't feel a need to cram in an *obvious* moral, whether it be "religion is bad" or "follow Jesus." I have a feeling I'll be mulling this one over for awhile.

Overall, a very interesting movie, and I enjoyed seeing Steve Martin in a slightly more dramatic role that still allowed him to be a performer.

4 stars.

Flickchart: #473 out of 2115, below Eyes Without a Face and above Crossing Delancey.

1 comment:

Tom said...

Wasn't it surprising to see Philip Seymour Hoffman in this? I think this was one of his first movies.