Tony Goldwyn, F. Murray Abraham. When a mysterious stranger visits a small midwestern town, its inhabitants don't know what to make of him, especially when he begins performing miracles." An uplifting story based on the best-selling novel by Joseph Girzone, featuring music by Michael W. Smith. 2002/color/90 min/G/fullscreen.
The world can be divided into two camps: those who will watch Joshua
reverently and gratefully, and those who will not touch it with a 10-foot pole. The reverent probably own Joseph F. Girzone's bestselling novel
about a mysterious but friendly loner who shows up in a small American town and blesses every life he touches. Whites and blacks, Catholics, Protestants, and Jews will work side by side as newly recognized brethren; an estranged couple will resolve to save their marriage; the lonely and disconnected will embrace and be embraced by community; etc. The message--the healing power of Christ's love--is beyond reproach, the intentions of the filmmakers entirely benign, but there is not one whit of dramatic tension or narrative complication to any of it. The cast is stronger than usual in such religious projects (Tony Goldwyn, Oscar®
winner F. Murray Abraham, Giancarlo Giannini as the Pope), but no one has a prayer with a script that posits the hero's Christhood on the fact that 12 people show up for his going-away dinner. --Richard T. Jameson