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Posts Tagged ‘William Cowper’

An Interview With God”  (2018)  —  movie review
Today’s review is for the “religious” movie which ran in theaters for three days last year and which is currently appearing on Netflix:  “An Interview With God” starring David Strathairn as God and Brenton Thwaites as a religious reporter / journalist Paul Asher who works at a non-sectarian newspaper.  The other main characters are:  Yael Grobglas as Paul’s estranged wife: Sarah Asher, Charlbi Dean as Sarah’s sister (Paul’s sister-in-law): Grace, and Hill Harper as Paul’s boss: Gary.  Paul is suffering a crisis in faith after having spent an extended period in Afghanistan covering the war while embedded with combat troops.  Paul is contacted and agrees to three half-hour interviews with someone who represents himself to be God.  The “GOD”.  The interview sessions are to be conducted over three days and at locations specified by God.
The movie was sponsored by a conservative Christian who also paid to have the movie released nation-wide in a limited number of theaters – hence the limited three day run.  Now, I did not know anything about the sponsor until after I’d seen the film and was doing research prior to writing this review.  I gather both factors (limited release and sponsorship) contributed to the fact there were very few reviews of the film by “mainstream” film reviewers.  I saw the movie preview last year, but never got to see the film in the cinema.  When I saw it was running on Netflix, I thought I’d give it a look-see because I like spiritual films as long as they don’t try to beat me over the head with religion.  This movie is definitively Judeo-Christian biased, but it is surprisingly more philosophical than “religious”.  That is, it raises philosophical issues about God and the real world, but it doesn’t really try to convert you Christianity (which surprised me a little).
Of the cast, Strathairn is relatively well known actor (Best Actor Oscar nomination for his Edward Murrow role in “Good Night, and Good Luck“.  I have also seen and enjoyed his performances in numerous other roles in films and on TV.  Thwaites is an Orlando Bloom look-alike, whom I gather is coming up through the Hollywood ranks as a heart-throb.  I know Harper from his TV role in the series: “The Good Doctor” – and I like him in that series.  The two females are (were) unknown to me.  I felt all five actors gave very creditable performances in their respective roles.
It is difficult to say too much about the movie because to do so would be to give away plot twists and the movie has only recently come onto Netflix so it would be unfair to spoil the movie given its very limited release.  I will say it is a movie you have to both watch and listen to.  The few reviews I have seen seemed (to me) to miss a number of points which explained / clarified other portions of the movie.  Basically, they said: “What was this or that about?”  My response: “Did you watch the movie?”
So, is this a great movie?  No, but it is thought provoking.  Is it well written, acted, shot?  Yes.  Yes.  And, yes.  Is it a religious experience in and of itself?  Give me a break…  It’s just a movie.  Do I intend to watch it again?  Yes, as a matter of fact I do intend to and I’ve already spoken to two family members about it (recommending it to them).
Final recommendation:  Strong recommendation.  I like Strathairn’s acting and he’s good in this role.  I like thought provoking movies and this is one of those (for me anyway).  I tend to enjoy movies about faith and humanity and this deals with both.  At only about ninety minutes, this movie was actually a better investment in faith than attending Mass today.  As sacrilegious as that may sound, I can (in my own defense) only offer a poem excerpt:
God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
From the poem: “Light Shining Out of Darkness“, by William Cowper
You can find the entire poem here.
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On This Day In:
2018 History Will Judge Harshly
Father Time, Perhaps?
2017 Odds Are
2016 Prayer, Too
2015 History, n.
2014 See It Sometime
2013 Precious Friend
2012 It Couldn’t Be Done
Feeling Surrounded?
2011 Surprise!

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Today the State of Alabama voted to put a Democrat in the Senate.  Doug Jones defeated Roy Moore in the State’s special election.  The last time a Democrat won a Senate seat for Alabama was 1992, and he was so conservative, he switched parties mid-term and joined the Republicans.
As per my initial comment (and my earlier post), my prediction was COMPLETELY wrong.   It turns out the voters of Alabama would rather “allow” the election of a Democrat than vote for an “alleged” pedophile Republican.  And, I for one am stunned.  I honestly did not believe it was possible…  It just shows how much I know.
For the last few weeks, I’ve been predicting a “going-away” victory for Roy Moore over the Democratic candidate Doug Jones of 6 to 8 points based on moderate to normal turnout.  Today, I changed my “prediction” to “landslide” (10-15 points) for Moore.
It is unclear why the vote happened the way it did, but basically the Democratic side turned out 92% of the presidential level while the Republican turnout was only 49% of presidential level.
To quote my earlier post:  “The only way Jones wins is if there is a massive (presidential level) turnout by Democrats AND a significant no-show by Republican voters.  In my humble opinion, this would be the equivalent of an act of God.
Not only was there a significant “no-show”, there was also a significant write-in vote, which, had they gone for the Republican side, would have flipped the result.
So, not only does the result show how little I know about Alabama politics, it also demonstrates the simple truth behind the adage: “That’s why they hold the election…
I guess there’s nothing else to say but quote the poem by William Cowper
God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs,
And works his sovereign will.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.
Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his work in vain;
God is his own interpreter,
And he will make it plain.
God bless the State of Alabama and God bless America!
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On This Day In:
2016 As Far From
2015 Rocky 7
Just Like Politics
2014 Game And Legend
“Scientific” Pride In Humanity
2013 Real Honor
Catching Up
2012 Thoughts And Communications
2011 But How Does Peter Feel?
2010 Name That Regret

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Horace. Book II. Ode X.

Receive, dear friend, the truths I teach,
So shalt thou live beyond the reach
Of adverse fortune’s power;
Not always tempt the distant deep,
Nor always timorously creep
Along the treacherous shore.
He that holds fast the golden mean,
And lives contentedly between
The little and the great,
Feels not the wants that pinch the poor,
Nor plagues that haunt the rich man’s door,
Imbittering all his state.
The tallest pines feels most the power
Of wintry blast, the loftiest tower
Comes heaviest to the ground;
The bolts that spare the mountain’s side,
His cloud-clapt eminence divide
And spread the ruin round.
The well-informed philosopher
Rejoices with a wholesome fear,
And hopes in spite of pain;
If winter bellow from the north,
Soon the sweet spring comes dancing forth,
And nature laughs again.
What if thine heaven be overcast,
The dark appearance will not last,
Expect a brighter sky;
The God that strings the silver bow
Awakes sometimes the muses too,
And lays his arrows by.
If hindrances obstruct thy way,
Thy magnanimity display,
And let thy strength be seen;
But oh! if Fortune fill thy sail
With more than a propitious gale,
Take half thy canvas in!
  —  William Cowper
[My journal entry records this was written by “William Leowper”.  I can find no Google results or Wikipedia entry for a “Leowper” and everything says this was written by “Cowper”, so I assume I just recorded it incorrectly.   “To err is human…”  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2015 To Infinity And Beyond
2014 Taken Back
2013 Windows Or Doors
2012 All Rise
2011 Vote Weight

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God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs,
And works his sovereign will.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.
Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his work in vain;
God is his own interpreter,
And he will make it plain.
  —  William Cowper
[An excerpt from this was offered back in March, (Trust Him Smile) but I thought I liked this poem enough to offer it in its entirety.  —  KMAB]
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Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust in Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning Providence,
He hides a smiling face.
  —  William Cowper
From:  “Light Shining Out Of Darkness
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