The Apostle

Tucson Weekly

DIRECTED BY: Robert Duvall

REVIEWED: 02-23-98

Robert Duvall has chosen parts in interesting, meandering movies so often that it's no surprise he's finally made one himself. The Apostle deals in the fuzziness of morality, the difficulty of self-knowledge, and the uses and misuses of religion so gracefully that you may not notice anything is being questioned, at first. Duvall, with gleeful unselfconsciousness, plays Sonny, a preacher who can't tell when he's being generous and when he's being self-serving. His devotion to a life of God looks an awful lot like a devotion to himself--he commits some of the really bad sins, but he's prone to kindness as well. The sheer ambiguity of this story is staggering, given the state of American movies these days. How often can two people see a film and come away with completely different ideas about its meaning? With The Apostle Duvall, who has already proven himself to be a spellbinding actor, has shown himself to be an intelligent writer and director as well.

--Richter

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