The papal press has spoken! Avvenire, a Vatican newspaper, slammed Noah, calling it a "lost opportunity, Noah without god," implying that what Noah got wrong was leaving out the religious aspect of the Biblical tale. Perhaps what the reviewer probably meant to say was that it was a lost opportunity for a good movie.
The movie, which indulges in excess, overacting, and hair is mediocre. It's long. I left four times to pee. American reviewers gave the film mixed reviews — all seemed to appreciate Aronofsky's noble attempts, even if they found some moments to be completely ridiculous. The movie, after all, has its moments, but mix the spectacular with the ridiculous and you have the equation for mediocrity.
Put the film in the hands of reviewers in Vatican City, though, and their expectations are undoubtedly different from ours: they're not in it for the effects, they want a godstacle (a godly spectacle!). Avvenire said that the film told the story “ecologically, and vaguely new age, transforming the Biblical tale into a missed chance.”
The Many Beards Of Russell Crowe — oops, I mean Noah — is a blatantly secular movie. Never once in Darren Aronofsky's very controversial film does anyone say the word "god"; he's the "Creator." There's even a quiet push for evolutionary theories in the Darwinistic telling of the story; those who can live will live, and there's a need for a male and female of each of these species in order to push biology forward. It's purposefully devoid of a religious pretext. That's the point.
The movie certainly did not need the Vatican's approval. Perhaps what it actually needed is the Vatican's disapproval to verify that it indeed succeeds at retelling the story in a progressive fashion. A religious stamp of objection is indicative that the film got something right.
Image: Paramount Pictures