The American (2010)

Hello Everyone,

As my first post here, I wanted to introduce the movie “The American” to those who have not yet heard of it, and perhaps discuss it with those who have.

The film features George Clooney as Jack, a figure of some mystery to those he encounters. Jack is a “good man” in the view of a prostitute with whom he finds himself involved, but someone “with a secret.” He finds himself in Abruzzo, a small community in the Italian countryside. Pavel, his contact, has arranged for him to construct a weapon for another mysterious contact, an assassin named Mathilde. While in Abruzzo, Jack is befriended by Benedetto, an elderly Catholic priest, and Clara, a prostitute.

You can find trailers on YouTube.

The film was the best movie I saw in 2010 (at least for movies made in 2010), and I wonder to what extent others felt either the same or very much the opposite. I know if you went in hoping to see another Jason Bourne movie, but this time cast in the Italian countryside, you would have left disappointed. It’s not that kind of movie.

At my blog, at which I discuss some of the movies I’ve been watching, I connect (or attempt to connect) Benedict’s conversation about “love” in his encyclical Deus Caritas Est, and “hope” in Spe Salvi, with the way in which “The American” puts forth the possibility of redemption. Do check it out.

Let’s talk.

Kelly Wilson

[quote="Kelly_Wilson, post:1, topic:237175"]
Hello Everyone,

As my first post here, I wanted to introduce the movie "The American" to those who have not yet heard of it, and perhaps discuss it with those who have.

The film features George Clooney as Jack, a figure of some mystery to those he encounters. Jack is a "good man" in the view of a prostitute with whom he finds himself involved, but someone "with a secret." He finds himself in Abruzzo, a small community in the Italian countryside. Pavel, his contact, has arranged for him to construct a weapon for another mysterious contact, an assassin named Mathilde. While in Abruzzo, Jack is befriended by Benedetto, an elderly Catholic priest, and Clara, a prostitute.

You can find trailers on YouTube.

The film was the best movie I saw in 2010 (at least for movies made in 2010), and I wonder to what extent others felt either the same or very much the opposite. I know if you went in hoping to see another Jason Bourne movie, but this time cast in the Italian countryside, you would have left disappointed. It's not that kind of movie.

At my blog, at which I discuss some of the movies I've been watching, I connect (or attempt to connect) Benedict's conversation about "love" in his encyclical Deus Caritas Est, and "hope" in Spe Salvi, with the way in which "The American" puts forth the possibility of redemption. Do check it out.

Let's talk.

Kelly Wilson

[/quote]

How is Jack "redeemed" given he's dead at the end???

ICXC NIKA

Hello GEddie,

A couple things:

  1. Why re-quote my entire post? Your one question directly follows my original post. Readers, I suspect, are capable enough to keep up.

  2. You placed the word redeemed in quotations, as if to imply that it was not your own contribution, and then you placed it in reference to Jack being "redeemed," but I don't understand the context of your reference. Who said Jack was redeemed?

  3. Further, what does him being dead have to do with anything?

  4. Are you familiar with Benedict's treatment of "love" and then of "hope" in his first two encyclicals?

Just a couple considerations here. Perhaps even a way to re-coordinate this conversation.

K.

Thanks for messing up the ending for those of us who haven´t seen the movie yet. You could have put SPOILER ALERT to warn us…but no… you just had to ruin it for the rest of us.

God bless

Hi TempleoftheSoul,

I’m sorry the ending won’t come as a surprise to you now. That’s always the danger of discussing movies. Having said this, I try very hard to talk about them meaningfully without telling everything.

In any event, the movie is still worth watching. But don’t read this as a blanket recommendation per se.

K.

[quote="GEddie, post:2, topic:237175"]
How is Jack "redeemed" given he's dead at the end???

ICXC NIKA

[/quote]

What are you, a materialist? Who says you can't be redeemed and still die?

Anyway, I saw this film in the theater with my mom and a friend of mine, and all three of us thought it was pretty good, but oddly enough a lot of the other people in the theater seemedquite disappointed, apparently becauses they wanted more action. Perhaps they were in fact expecting another Bourne film. But I did enjoy it, and the ending was quite tragic. Also had some nice scenes of rural Italy.

[quote="Raskolnikov, post:6, topic:237175"]
What are you, a materialist?

[/quote]

Maybe I am.

Hopefully, we can amicably disagree.

Who says you can't be redeemed and still die?

Contradiction in terms, I say. YMMV, of course.

ICXC NIKA

Well, how long after a person or character makes the decision that redeems himself must he live in order for the redemption to be 'valid.' Would you say that the character of Maximus was not redeemed at the end of Gladiator because he died as well? Just curious.

It’s interesting that if you read someone like Benedict, and particularly his treatment of what Catholics call the “theological virtues,” you will find him observing that while the virtues have not disappeared in contemporary cultures, they have undergone a sort of secularist mutation.

Now, as a hermeneutic I have chosen to interpret “The American” from the perspective of the theological virtues, and I see in Jack a movement beyond that mutation.

Kelly Wilson
Musings, kellyjwilson.blogspot.com/

I think this relates to GEddie's original question insofar as the concept of "redemption" has not disappeared from contemporary cultures, but perhaps, from the Christian perspective it has experienced a certain mutation. In the end though, I think Jack still evidences movement in the right direction. I explain in more detail here: kellyjwilson.blogspot.com/

Kelly.

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