Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Contest: Blue Like Jazz

posted by Nell Minow

I am thrilled to give away a copy of one of my favorite films of the year, Blue Like Jazz.  Director Steve Taylor raised the money for the film $10 at a time on Kickstarter.  Fans of the inspirational book by Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality, were eager to provide backing for a movie version of Miller’s story of his journey from a very strict fundamentalist upbringing to his studies at one of the most free-thinking schools in the world, Reed College in Portland, Oregon.

Taylor told me about adapting a book of essays on spirituality into a movie:

I read it six years ago over Christmas and it’s not the sort of book you put down and say, “I see this movie in my head!”  But it struck me as, this would make a great movie, particularly that part about that guy growing up as a suburban youth as a Southern Baptist, really conservative culture, and then ending up at Reed College.  It would be hard to imagine a more opposite place. So I showed up for a reading, and they had a line wrapped around the block, and afterwards I pitched him the idea and from the beginning, told him, “Look, I think this’ll make a great movie, but I would love to end it with the confessional scene which is a really powerful scene in the book.  The big change I’d like to propose is that in the book, he’s a thirty-year old writer who lives off campus and audits classes. I just think a more interesting movie story would be if you were a college student.” You know, usually authors understandably are very protective about their work and what they’ve written, and particularly if it’s memoir-ish, but he just immediately sparked to that.  I think he would tell you it’s because he’s seen too many books, memoirs in particular, turned into movies where they tried to stick exactly to the book and it made for a bad movie.  He recognized that it’s a different craft, and that the goal is to keep the truth but to make a compelling movie story.

The movie achieves that goal.  To enter the contest, send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with “Blue” in the subject line and tell me a book you like about spirituality or inspiration.  Don’t forget your address!  (US addresses only.)  I’ll pick a winner on September 9.  Good luck!



  • http://www.touristinthecity.com Andrew C

    I’m glad to hear about this film, which had slipped by me. It’s a rare movie that dives into the grappling, grasping and wrestling that’s involved in the search for a truth, one that’s connected to a Knowing of god. I’m discovering movies from the ’50s that dealt with this openly, like Robert Bresson’s “Diary of a Country Priest.”

    • Nell Minow

      Beautifully said, Andrew C. I hope you let me know what you think of the film, which respects the struggle and those who are struggling in a way I found refreshing.

  • Pingback: Contest: Blue Like Jazz « Christian Media Monitor

Previous Posts

Disney's Headless Horseman, Sung by Bing Crosby
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ysNSKrH8hHo?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 1:39:39pm Oct. 30, 2014 | read full post »

List: My Favorite Movie Ghosts
Happy Halloween! Here are ten of my favorite movie ghosts.  (NOTE: Some of these have inferior remakes -- stick with the originals.) Topper Cary Grant and Constance Bennett are the most s

posted 8:00:42am Oct. 30, 2014 | read full post »

List: Sam Rockwell
Sam Rockwell is one of the most versatile leading me in Hollywood. This week, he stars with Keira Knightley in "Laggies," playing a single dad. Here are some of my favorite Sam Rockwell performances: Moon Rockwell takes on the biggest possible acting challenge -- he in alone on screen for the ent

posted 3:50:02pm Oct. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Lauren Bradshaw's Terrific New "Before They Were Famous" Column
My friend and fellow critic Lauren Bradshaw has a great new series on the very earliest appearances by some of Hollywood's biggest stars. You can see Emma Stone, Brad Pitt, and Jessica Chastain in their very first roles, and give her suggestions for who she should report on next.

posted 8:00:27am Oct. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Big News From Marvel: Black Panther, Dr. Strange, and Much, Much, MUCH More
Wow, Marvel really knows how to make an announcement. Get out your calendars: May 6, 2016: Captain America: Civil War Nov. 4, 2016: Doctor Strange May 5, 2017: Guardians of the Galaxy 2 July 28, 2017: Thor: Ragnarok Nov. 3, 2017: Black Panther May 4, 2018: Avengers: Infinity War – Part I Ju

posted 6:46:42pm Oct. 28, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.