(INSIDEMOVIES.EW) — In the elegaic drama The Last Days in the Desert, which premiered at Sundance on Sunday night, Ewan McGregor portrays a spiritual seeker who is variously addressed as “holy man,” rabbi and Yeshuwa. He is never, however, called by the name by which most people would identify him: Jesus Christ. And he’s not like any Jesus you’ve ever seen before on film.
In the movie, which was written and directed by Rodrigo Garcia, McGregor plays the son of God not so much as the messiah but as a deeply human guy with a pronounced daddy complex. Trudging solo through the desert where he has fasted and prayed for 40 days toward Jerusalem, he is shown wrestling with his faith in moments of anxiety, uncertainty and hardship. He looks to the sky and speaks aloud to his “father” (who never replies in any conversational way), explaining to a family of nomads who take the prophet in, “I was looking for a place to look inward and find myself.”
Gorgeously shot by Oscar-winning cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity, Birdman), The Last Days in the Desert arrives in Park City as one of the relatively rare religious-leaning films screening at the festival—on the heels of an era unofficially hailed by Hollywood as “the year of the Biblical movie” that saw the release of such epics as Noah and Exodus: Gods and Kings.
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