The Last Temptation of Christ ★★★★½

"You know, it's one thing to want to change the way people live... But you want to change how they think, how they feel."

These are the words spoken to Jesus (Willem Dafoe) by Pontius Pilate (David Bowie) towards the end of their conversation in The Last Temptation of Christ, but they may as well have been spoken to Martin Scorsese as he prepared to make the film as it was met with such contempt and controversy from the very people for whom he made it.

There is no blasphemy here. This is not based on fact. It's not even based on The Gospels in the Bible, which one can either accept as the word of God or not, for it matters little here. This is an adaptation of a book written by Nikos Kazantzakis, a Greek writer torn between his spiritual, existential questions and his physical needs and desires. It's an attempt to reconcile the dual nature of Christ; that of human man -imperfect, flawed, short-sighted and self centered and of God - infallible, all-knowing, all-seeing and full of love.

I'm not a religious person, but I used to be. There was a time when I served as a missionary, preaching in people's homes, teaching them that they were children of God. Even then The Last Temptation of Christ was never anything less than a comfort to me. It's man's nature to question, to feel that he's falling short, that he can't do it all. But it's also in his nature to keep trying.

That's what I see here. And how anyone can find fault with that, I'll never know.