Mary Magdalene

Rated 1.0

This latest take on Mary Magdalene, who has had widely ranging portrayals in cinema over the years, suggests that Mary (Rooney Mara) was Jesus’ closest disciple, and was by no means a prostitute, effectively declaring Barbra Hershey’s depiction of Mary in Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ total bullshit. According to director Garth Davis (Lion), Mary wasn’t just the closest confidant of the Jesus, but easily the most boring. Mara’s Mary just sort of skulks about in this movie, arriving late for all of the big events like Jesus tearing up the temple, the Last Supper, and the whole Crucifixion deal. (In a strange way, she reminds of Brian in Monty Python’s Life of Brian, just not as funny.) And while Mara’s Mary is a snooze, she’s excitement personified next to this film’s Jesus, portrayed by the usually reliable Joaquin Phoenix. In the hands of Phoenix, Jesus becomes a quizzical sort who looks really cold all of the time, pulling his little shawl/robe around and coming off as super depressed. In short, Phoenix is a terrible Jesus. One of the worst ever. While it’s admirable to portray Magdalene as more disciple than prostitute, this movie makes the whole dying for your sins event a sleepy afterthought. Too bad … I like a good Jesus movie, and this isn’t one of them. It’s not a good Magdalene movie, either. It’s not a good movie, in general. (Available for rent during a limited theatrical release.)