The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)

Rating: C+

Dir: Martin Scorsese
Star: Willem Dafoe, Barbara Hershey, Harvey Keitel, David Bowie

“He’s not the son of God, he’s a very naughty boy!”. Yes, the big problem here is that if you’ve seen Life of Brian, it’s impossible to take this film with the necessary gravity. This is in some ways a shame, as Dafoe makes a cracking Christ, and despite what the fundamentalists would have you think, it’s hardly blasphemous; if you discovered you were the Messiah, you might behave a bit strangely, to say the least. Dafoe puts over the confusion and fear well, while Scorsese avoids overdosing on excessive religious trappings. It’s not what you might call action-packed, and Keitel’s Brooklyn Judas is out of place, but it’s a brave attempt at a project which was inevitably going to come in for flak. Still, the urge to sing along during the crucifixion was too much to bear…