The author who chronicled the life of John Newton, writer of the legendary song “Amazing Grace”, recently pre-screened and critiqued the upcoming movie Amazing Grace by Bristol Bay Productions.
Christine Schaub’s best-selling novel The Longing Season, chronicles the life of John Newton and the story behind his most beloved hymn. The novel is renowned for its historical accuracy, a result that came from painstaking research.
Schaub reflected: “I sat in the movie theatre, staring at the screen with more than a little bit of worry. Walden Media’s film “Amazing Grace” had been playing for forty minutes, and John Newton was about to make his entrance. Would the filmmakers get it right? Or would they perpetuate the myth?”
She continued: “Turns out, Walden got it mostly right. They cast the great Albert Finney as Newton, roughed him up and had him mopping his church floors. I suppose they thought an old preacher in sackcloth was more convincing as a former slave-trader. In truth, Newton was rather refined, but liked to refer to his former wretched self as an example of what God’s life-changing power can do. Finney, however, is brilliant in the role.”
In addition, Schaub noted that the movie does a “good job” explaining that the commerce of slave trading was not a moral issue to the majority of Britons.
Although she added that the filmmakers’ “greatest error” is having the movie’s central figure William Wilberforce introduce his impromptu singing of “Amazing Grace” with an attribute to “
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