At first glance, Amazing Grace appears to be a traditional British period piece, but on closer reflection, this reverent biography of William Wilberforce subtly and effectively shows how much some things have changed since the late 1700s and how little other things have. Politicians arguing against the abolition of slavery claim that it would devastate the economy and that, if England stopped using slave labour, competing countries would simply step in to fill the void. This is not at all unlike contemporary arguments supporting the continued use of sweatshops and other exploitive labour practices. Many of the techniques of protest used at the time, including boycotts and petitions, will be completely familiar to the modern audience. Animal rights activists will recognize Wilberforce as an early proponent of their cause. Ioan Gruffudd is convincing and charming in the lead role. He is ably supported by an impressive cast including Albert Finney in a heart wrenching performance as the writer of the titular hymn and rising star Benedict Cumberbatch, who is unrecognizable from his appearance in Starter for 10, as Prime Minister William Pitt. While this insightful and inspiring film about the accomplishments of this remarkable historical figure might not reveal everything about his life or the dramatized events, it may very well motivate many to find out more details about them.
|8/10||lydaberger@ - 44 reviews|
3.4.2007 - age: 36-49
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