Amazing Grace (PG)
Posted by Jemma on Fri, 01 Feb 2008.
Starring: Ioan Gruffud, Romola Garai, Voussou N’Dour, Albert Finney and Benedict Cumberbatch
A film is never more powerful than when it tells the tale of a real life hero of the people. This thought provoking film will have you gripped until the end as you enjoy a part of history. Amazing Grace is directed by Michael Apted (The World Is Not Enough) from an original screen play written by Steven Knight (Dirty Pretty Things).
The Story begins in the 18th Century with William Wilberforce (Ioan Gruffud), a member of parliament, struggling to combine his successful political career with a desire to do good in the world. It is William’s friend, and England’s youngest Prime Minister, William Pitt the Younger (Benedict Cumberbatch) who suggests he can do both by fighting to end the slave trade. William seeks guidance from his old priest and dear friend John Newton (Albert Finney), an ex-slave trader who saw the devastation in it and turned to God, consequently writing the Amazing Grace Hymn. With a small, yet passionate, group of followers, including his partner Babara Spooner (Romola Garai) who shares his dreams and ambitions, William Wilberforce leads the way to end the slave industry. Along the way William befriends Olaudah Equiano (Voussou N’Dour), an African man who arrives in London as a slave but finds his freedom and writes a best-selling novel based on his life.
This film is 1 hour and fifty one minutes long so it’s definitely worth the watch if you have a couple of hours to spare on a dismal afternoon. With The Bill to end slave trade being declined year after year, watch in admiration as you see the struggles and the set backs that William and his followers face, until a loop hole is found and The Bill is finally accepted.
The marketing for this film has been hugely understated and fails to emphasise the fact that there is a fantastic storyline. With the assertion of triumph over tragedy, this is a hugely enjoyable historical film for everyone alike.