This is the third time I watched this movie. THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST is my favorite movie from director Martin Scorsese. I think this is his underrated masterpiece. At first viewing, I just felt this movie is merely a great movie. At second viewing, I began to notice something that I missed from the first viewing. At third viewing, I felt this isn't an ordinary movie. It's a spiritual journey. It's wonderful...
"The astonishing controversy that has raged around this film is primarily the work of fundamentalists who have their own view of Christ and are offended by a film that they feel questions his divinity. But in the father's house are many mansions, and there is more than one way to consider the story of Christ--why else are there four Gospels?"-Roger Ebert. A sincere exploration of faith/doubt by a gifted film artist.
This film was very much a passion project for Scorsese and that shows. You can feel his passion for the source material in almost every frame of it. This film for years was stuck in some sort of development hell and it's honestly a miracle that he ever managed to get it made. It is a little ruff around the edges and if it wasn't for Scorsese's raw talent and passion for the material this film would be unwatchable.
The movie was very powerful in depicting Jesus' struggle with being God. His relationship with Judas was taken to a new dimension and the overall plot was an interesting interpretation of the Gospel. The actual last temptation of Christ was the money shot. It is the large element of surplus value you don't get in any other passion movie.
Last Temptation was extremely important to me growing up despite the fact that I was a confirmed died-in-the-wool atheist and that Scorsese's film is earnestly concerned w/ faith in a divinity. Looking at it again I am struck by how utterly profound and philosophically rich the movie is on the one hand and just how nakedly odd it is on the other. Valuable lessons about faith in the face of all kinds of torment.
weak dialogue is the film's biggest flaw: too many binary choices and artificial oppositions between good and evil. but many things make it compelling: scorsese's strange cinematographic choices; the tasteful splashes of Jodorowsky; Dafoe's superb physical acting