Russell Crowe plays Noah in a new movie from director Darren Aronofsky (“The Wrestler,” “Requiem for a Dream”) and co-starring “Harry Potter’s” Emma Watson and Oscar-winner Jennifer Connelly.
Variety reports that a group called “Faith Driven Consumers” conducted a poll finding that 98 percent of their tiny, self-selected group were not “satisfied” with the movie. However, none of those polled (or those conducting the polling) had actually seen the movie, which is still in post-production. Furthermore, the members of the Faith Driven Consumer group may not be representative of the faith community or even those who do not so identify but will be interested in the movie because it is a big, effects-driven historical epic with an exciting story and two Oscar-winning stars. Most important, the poll is severely flawed because of the way the question was posed: “As a Faith Driven Consumer, are you satisfied with a Biblically themed movie – designed to appeal to you – which replaces the Bible’s core message with one created by Hollywood?” Even assuming that they are correct about the Bible’s core message, since they have not seen the movie it is close to bearing false witness for them to frame the question this way. And it is highly disrespectful for the commenters on this bogus story to ignore the fact that it is not just Christians, much less some subset of Christians, who have an interest in the story of Noah, who is an important figure in Jewish and Muslim texts as well.
It is likely that the movie will be very respectful of the faith-based audience and present the story of the man who followed God’s direction in a way that will be meaningful to believers and inspiring for those who are open to it. But I will not judge it until I see it, and I will report back then.