This past Thursday evening, my wife and had the privilege of seeing Blue Like Jazz on the closing night of the Phoenix Film Festival. I have written before of the impact Donald Miller’s work has had on me: How Blue Like Jazz ‘Saved’ Me.
So to say I was anxious to see the finished film is an understatement roughly the size of Shatner’s ego.
I was psyched!
So how did they do?
1) The picture didn’t look like it was filmed on a shoestring budget. The colors were lush, the cinematography outstanding.
2) The acting was crisp, and believable. These were real people. Like life, the funny parts were funny, and dramatic parts powerful.
3) The crisis in you v Don’s life felt real. You will believe the inciting incident, for sure. (How many of us have been there?)
4) The screenplay–adapted from Miller’s book by himself, Steve Taylor, and Ben Pearson–captured the intersection of clashing cultures perfectly.
5) Taylor has grown immensely as a director since The Second Chance–he knows how to elicit the best performances from his actors.
6) As I learned in recovery several years ago, I need to “accept this sinful world as it is–as Jesus did–not as I would have it to be.” This seems to be the principal thesis of the film, namely what does it look like when a person of faith crashes down in a world whose problems (sins) are greater than merely being, say, an inattentive dad? How does that person relate, fit in–does he hide? Where is God in this?
7) The ending, without being mawkish, is one of the most poignant, and powerful, I’ve ever seen.
Truly the movie, like the book before it, is about the intersection of life and grace.
Blue Like Jazz is, like, for real, man.
When the movie comes out this Friday (April 13th), be there. Don’t hide your kids, wife, or your husband–go! (Well, maybe get a babysitter for the kids–this film earns its PG-13 rating).
What are you waiting for?