Miraculously, Aronofsky has spent $130 million of Hollywood money on a visionary art film that asks us to examine what we believe. In this flawed, fiercely relevant film, wonders never cease.
Darren Aronofsky brings wild ambition and thrilling artistry to one of the Old Testament’s best-known, most dramatic, least plausible stories — Noah and the ark — with Russell Crowe infusing the role of God’s first seaman and zookeeper with all his surly majesty.
And best of all, A.O. Scott, the Times:
“Noah” is occasionally clumsy, ridiculous and unconvincing, but it is almost never dull, and very little of it has the careful, by-the-numbers quality that characterizes big-studio action-fantasy entertainment.
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Now I am no Old Testament scholar, but I think it’s safe to say that Noah took some liberties in its interpretation — I don’t believe corrugated tin and big metal pipes sticking out of a supposed underground reservoir were part of the landscape in ancient times. Nor were there many giant walking rock piles. But the film stays very much within the spirit of Bible, and further, its post-modern/post-industrial, Mad Max meets Waterworld style serves to engage the audience in a way that a more traditional telling probably would not have.
Understand that the director and co-writer Darren Aronofsky was the force behind Pi, Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler and Black Swan. Also understand that directors who normally have a strong vision for their films often succumb to mainstream banalities when it comes time to make a big historical film. Luckily that did not happen here.
I also really like Jennifer Connelly in just about anything she does, and here as well. But for all the positives, in some ways Noah struck me as a little flat; at times the drama does not flow. Nonetheless, on balance, I was surprised at how good it was. 7/10