Not far into The Duke, I was silenced by someone for laughing, and I became rigid and depressed for the remaining duration while the rest of the theater could make noise. If I judged the film by how cold I was left feeling, it wouldn’t be fair. As is, I couldn’t connect enough to appraise its merits to the best of my ability either.
Put humor and a huge slathering of charm over something and give it the appearance of fitting into genre conventions, and people will eat anything up.
The toxic undercurrent, witless script, and casual misogyny only put me more off liking the film the longer it went on, and it being shy of 2.5 hours stretched my tolerance very thin.
It would be incredibly difficult for me to give an impersonal assessment of this film, because ‘Jesus Camp’ involves some of my own experiences in childhood. Many of the things going on that most people would see as abnormal just feel like watching a home video of childhood church activities to me. I was even almost one of the children at the camp in the movie the very year this was made. I would have known the kids in ‘Jesus…