Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|CS Lewis Beyond Narnia|
Actor: Anton Rodgers
Genres: Television, Documentary
05-51567 C.S. Lewis: Beyond Narnia Readers and fans worldwide know the land of Narnia and the magical beings who dwell there. But few know the genius who created this beloved fantasy. Now meet C.S. Lewis, an extraordinar... more »
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Vicki H. from LEXINGTON, KY
Reviewed on 1/1/2011...
I love Anton Rodgers' portrayal of C. S. Lewis in this film. It might not be the most detailed or scholarly presentation of Lewis' life, but it is a good overview for anyone not very familiar with the life of the author of the Narnia books. I am biased to favor this movie because Anton Rodgers' is one of my favorite actors. If you enjoyed him in "Beyond Narnia", check out his performance alongside Hugh Laurie in "The Young Visiters" [sp], another film I highly recommend.
"I always believed that miracles can happen. You just have
Michael Dalton | Eureka, CA United States | 03/24/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's remarkable how ordinary and seemingly insignificant events prove pivotal, and in God's economy part of his grand design. Such is the case in the life of C.S. Lewis. He wrote, "I always believed that miracles can happen. You just have to be at the right place at the right time."
The tragic loss of his mother led to a cruel English boarding school experience. Begging to leave, he came out into the spacious freedom of a demanding but beloved tutor, who inspired a love of learning and knowledge. It served as preparation for Oxford University.
His education was interrupted by what was called "The Great War." Did the tragedy and horror of it confirm his atheism? Wounded in battle, he returned to his studies and Christian friends like J.R.R. Tolkien, who challenged his atheistic assumptions.
His defenses began to crumble when he realized that not only were his best friends Christian, his favorite books were written by Christian authors. He could no longer deny God's existence and felt the pressure of God's pursuit.
He had been filled with trepidation at the thought of becoming a believer, but in 1929 he reluctantly surrendered. It was anything but joyous.
But years later, after a career in writing had emerged, he agreed to meet with an American woman who had written him. This seemingly insignificant event would forever change his life. He was at the right place at the right time. Joy Gresham would become his friend, and later to make it possible for her to stay in England, Lewis agreed to a hasty "paper" marriage.
It was the tragedy of Joy's cancer that brought their love to the surface, which led to a real marriage before God. At last Lewis would know the joy in his sixties that he had been denied in his twenties. This pleasure would prove to be fleeting, as Joy's recovery was only temporary.
She eventually succumbed leaving Lewis to question the faith he had espoused and defended. In back of all the twists and turns in his life, stood the God who helped Lewis and his stepchildren carry on.
All of these scenes and more are beautifully depicted in this dramatic presentation. Amazingly, it condenses into 54 minutes all the periods and highlights of his life. The pacing is even and relaxed; it never feels rushed.
This is not a documentary. An assortment of actors, including a man who looks like an older Lewis, vividly and expertly recreate his life.
The promotional DVD copy opens with an advertisement for this production and did not have any of the bonus features listed on the box. This includes Lewis and Narnia trivia, information about Lewis and a few other items related to the Narnia books.
The presentation opens with Lewis as a child exploring an old cottage. Then it flashes forward to 1963 with the older Lewis narrating his story. The different episodes are played out in between narration and commentary. Lewis serves as a guide; everything comes to us from his perspective.
As you might expect, this is more realistic and less dramatic than "Shadowlands," the popular Hollywood version of his life. It also has a warmth and production that exceeds the PBS story. This may be the best and is probably the most concise depiction of Lewis on film.
Those who know his story may not learn anything new, but this works because it's well-done, entertaining and realistic. It's a loving depiction that serves as a great follow-up to the "Narnia" movie. It takes us beyond Narnia to show us the miracle of the life behind it.
Lewis according to Lewis
Patrick Oden | Lake Arrowhead, CA United States | 05/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The trouble with many documentaries on religious figures or events is that in our era of religious suspicion much of the spirituality is washed out to make a movie more "accessible" to a wide audience. In doing this these documentaries miss the mark, and create a figure or event entirely unhistorical. The reality about C.S. Lewis is he was a Christian. Not only this, he was a Christian apologist, a man who spent a significant part of his life convincing others about Christianity.
That core reality is found in this documentary. Indeed, this movie may have been better titled, "In His Own Words", for having read the bulk of Lewis' writings I recognized significant parts. Think of this movie as a very uncluttered dramatization of Surprised by Joy, A Grief Observed, and a selection of his letters.
C.S. Lewis saw his own identity being defined by his faith. He was fascinating, he himself argued, precisely because of his Christianity. This movie, without holding back, gets right to the heart of Lewis' own self-understanding, and as such is a wonderful hour spent with a very intriguing and influential scholar, writer, theologian, and evangelist."
A Captivating Biographical Film
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 09/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was entranced watching this short (just under 1 hour) film, which traces some of the major events in the life of Christian apologist and author C.S. Lewis. The story is told in flashbacks from the memory of an elderly Lewis, and the exquisite script is mostly culled from his writings. It makes one marvel at the beauty of the English language, and how descriptive it is. The scenes flow well, and though it is a mere sketch of a very complex and full life, one gets the sense of who Lewis was, how he lived, and the friends he knew, like J. R. R. Tolkien. He met Joy Davidman, an American mother of 2, in his later years, and this relationship brought Lewis love, as well as a crisis of faith, which is expressed with depth and sensitivity.
Anton Rodgers as Lewis, and Diane Venora as Joy give remarkable performances. There is an intimacy and realism to their portrayals that make the biography come alive, and stir our emotions. The direction by Norman Stone is excellent, and the production gives one the feel of what the first half of the 20th century in England was like. Co-produced by Faith and Values Media for the Hallmark Channel, and filmed in locations where Lewis worked and lived, "Beyond Narnia" is a gentle film that will be appreciated by anyone who admires his books, or those who enjoy literate scripts and good acting.