exerpted for purposes of review
This movie is an incredibe feat. The script follows the Gospel of John virtually to the letter, while presenting a lively and involving visual interpretation of much that has never before been "manifest in the flesh".
The choice of a modern translation as a base might have been disastrous, but in fact the choice in this case at least has made it possible to quickly forget its a movie with narrator, and instead immerse oneself in the story.
Immediately, the intimacy of the photography and acting allows the viewer to become involved with the characters and care about them. This results in moving drama, and makes the confrontational portions of John tolerable and even very convincing as realistic dialogue.
The performers and director have performed a great service in making much of the dialogue recorded in John understandable, by having Jesus and other characters express themselves in plausible contexts and with appropriate pacing and meaning.
It would be an understatement to say that they have brought the text to life. In many cases, a whole new vision of the meaning of much of Jesus' speeches makes them accessible to audiences that could never otherwise experience the moving revelation of John.
This having been said, it is no surprise that this movie presents one of the best and most moving and involving versions of the story of the Woman Taken in Adultery (John 8:1-11). Although perhaps a half-dozen large production Hollywood movies have attempted to put this to screen, in some cases quite interestingly and believably, few have been able to move the audience to real sympathy with the woman's character, because her scene is so brief.
Nonetheless, by a combination of fidelity to the "original script", and a caring and dramatic portrayal of the story, the reader is perhaps for the first time in a movie drawn deeply into a real empathy, concern and compassion for the woman. The actress is brilliant, and the man playing Jesus plays the scene with perfect balance.
The result is finally a compelling and believable rendering of the story which touches the heart like no previous attempt. Perhaps for the first time on film, one can truly understand and believe how it could have happened 2000 years ago, that a woman was freed rather than brutally stoned to death in a primitive and senseless lynching.