Amazing Grace Movie Review
A period piece starring Mr. Fantastic himself, Ioan Gruffudd, Amazing Grace is about idealist William Wilberforce's attempts during the 19th century to end Britain's endorsement of the slave trade. While the movie offers some interesting facts and politics, the end result is a rather dry and stuffy drama with little power to it.
I was not a big fan of Gruffudd in the Fantastic Four films, and while he's better here, I'm still not that impressed. His range and charisma seem basic at best; he has moments where he's really good, but for the most part he lacks the power and intensity needed for roles like this. Considering that the whole movie is about him, that's a problem.
Nevertheless, the film itself, from director Michael Apted, is pretty decent at times. Apted and screenwriter Steven Knight manage to deliver their story in a relatively entertaining way; since the movie spans many years, you have to respect their ability to create a film that reflects the time span without feeling choppy or disjointed. As far as dramas go, Amazing Grace is certainly watchable, though if you compare it to other films of the same nature - Amistad comes to mind - it just doesn't compare. There are no breakout performances or extremely powerful moments, and as a result there's nothing that makes this film particularly memorable.
Also, the connection to the song "Amazing Grace" isn't particularly strong, and you have to wonder if a different title and focus could have taken this movie up a notch.
Amazing Grace is an okay little drama, but isn't remarkable in any way or form.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.