Los Angeles Times - 09/26/2003
"...One of the things it does best is capture the conviction of this iconoclast..."
Entertainment Weekly - 10/10/2003
Movieline's Hollywood Life - 11/01/2003
"...The film is an intelligent and absorbing mini-history of the Reformation..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 09/26/2003
"...The most fun comes from the performance of grand old Sir Peter as Friedrich..."
Spiritual conviction and radical politics define LUTHER, an historical biography which traces the life and career of Martin Luther, an inspired monk whose writings initiated the Protestant movement in 16th-century Germany. The film follows Luther's induction as a monk to his professorship in Wittenberg, where he eventually authors the 95 Theses. Reacting against Roman-Catholic strategies of bartering salvation for coinage, as well as the institution's hierarchies of religious knowledge and power, Luther throws the proverbial wrench in the system with his seditious writings. His disgust with the Church is only balanced by his love of the scriptures, and he calls on both to defend himself in numerous battles with the Church, recreated with modern-day courtroom drama. The film employs tropes of the father and son, including Luther's relationships with his biological father, his spiritual mentor at the monastery, and God, all of which provide richer textures to the narrative. Populated with dusty, energetic peasants desperate for God and the statesmen who rule them--incidentally decked out in rich red robes or purple gowns--LUTHER rewards the aesthetic impulse with panoramic landscapes, vastly structured church interiors, myriad medieval paintings, and again, the costumes. Spirited in more ways than one, LUTHER provides a dramatic overview to the ultimate Protestant hero, whose radical politics and religious beliefs ushered in an entirely new era of faith and practice.
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