Amazing Grace

Rated 4.0

Director Michael Apted and writer Steven Knight tell the story of British politician William Wilberforce (Ioan Gruffudd) and his 26-year campaign to abolish the slave trade, despite the opposition of powerful interests in Parliament. It’s an inspiring story of moral rectitude overcoming impossible odds, and Apted and Knight give a stirring account of it. Knight’s complicated flashback structure is a little hard to follow at times, but his dialogue is often eloquent and the script follows history fairly closely. Gruffudd carries the film with ease (and convincingly ages from 22 to 46), and the first-rate cast includes Romola Garai as Wilberforce’s devoted wife; Albert Finney as the author of the title hymn; and Michael Gambon, Ciarán Hinds and Toby Jones as politicians on different sides of the issue.