23. Noah (March 28 US/April 4 UK)
I count myself as a big Aronofsky fan. Particularly The Fountain, but also The Wrestler and (yes) his gleefully bad-taste monument to hysteria, Black Swan). I’m still sad we’ll never get to see his planned version of Batman, where Alfred is a mechanic called “Little Al”, the Batmobile is a Lincoln Continental, and Batman stabs a guy in the eye with a fountain pen.
Noah is his retelling of the Biblical story, and seems to mostly involve Russell Crowe being moody, shouting, and having a big scrap with the villagers from next door who first mock then try to steal his ark.
So far, this sounds dreadful.
But let’s consider four things. First, Aronofsky. Second, Ray Winstone leading the local gang of thuggish, Noah-hating bruisers. Third, behind-the-scenes tension due to “negative responses” when they test screened it to “religious audiences.”. Why could that be? Maybe it’s something to do the fourth element, which is: ANGRY SIX-ARMED ANGELS with FLAMING SWORDS going ABSOLUTELY BERZERK.
I am a man of simple tastes, and that last point fulfils all my movie-going requirements . –AJP