Darren Aronovsky’s Noah seems to have a few problems. Thank goodness the Pope did not engage with Russell Crowe’s tweet inviting him to a free screeinng.
Aronovsky is Jewishh and a professed athiest, relevant in a paradoxical kind of way in the context of this movie. To date he cannot be said to have anything like a masterpiece under his belt. His oeuvre seems to suggest that he is more interested in controversy than art. Pi was intriguing but fairly incomprehhensible. He also directed Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler and Natalie Portman in The Swan. Noah will certainly keep the controversy going.
America magazine has a bemused review which sums it up this way:
The degree to which Aronofsky is up to mischief should not be underestimated. Religious audiences are obviously a target for “Noah” and Paramount Pictures, which has been sweating about the movie since its early survey screenings, has gotten mixed messages back, at best. We wonder if those audiences, chosen to test the waters for a biblical epic that goes its own very eccentric way, picked up on some of the director’s more provocative moves: A visual sequence, for instance, over which Noah relates the Old Testament version of Creation, while at the same time the images are depicting a Big Bang scenario and the evolution of all life crawling out of the sea. Or, for that matter, the very obvious suggestion that, post-Flood, humanity replicates itself via incest. Aronofsky may not have produced a movie that will be thrilling the masses. But a discerning few will definitely be amused. Even appalled.
John Anderson is a film critic for Variety and The Wall Street Journal and a regular contributor to the Arts & Leisure section of The New York Times.
The full review is here