So, it’s finally here. Blue Like Jazz opens in theaters tomorrow. It’s been hard to stay away from some of the early reviews. Variety and the Huffington Post gave it decent nods. Interestingly a Village Voice reviewer and a conservative evangelical site found themselves agreeing on a less enthusiastic take on the film, albeit for different reasons.
One reviewer said that the film’s harshest critics are from the extreme ends of the spectrum. For those at the far end of evangelical fervor, the film will not be Christian enough. For the “freedom from religion” crowd, it will be too Christian. I don’t care about any of that. What I care about, what I want more than anything else – and what I want from every film I see – is nothing more than a good story, well-executed. By “well-executed” I don’t mean a film with a big budget, lots of things exploding, heavy artillery and stellar special effects. All of those things can cover a multitude of theatrical sins. Is the acting good? Is the story and dialogue believable? Are the characters interesting? Does the story make me care about what happens to them?
I have to admit that I already have a bias for Blue Like Jazz. The book was amazing and, while I know that film is a fictional adaptation of the book, I anticipate the big screen adaptation of Miller’s thoughts on Christian spirituality to be equally provocative. As a lover of film and a follower of Christ, I hope it will be the kind of production that I am unapologetic about recommending to anyone who is a film lover like me.
I enjoy all genres of film, but my preference is for the smaller, independent productions. Movies like Sideways, Bottle Rocket, (500) Days of Summer, City Island and Dan in Real Life come to mind. Before seeing many of those I had heard little to nothing about them, but had great experiences with each.
Tomorrow, take a chance and check out “Blue Like Jazz.” You can go here to find out where it’s playing near you.
After you’ve seen it, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave me a comment or shoot me an email.