Wednesday, June 29, 2011

God and Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman (b. 1938) as God in Bruce Almighty

I do not think that God minds Morgan Freeman playing Him - he does it pretty well.

It is true, the movie Bruce Almighty (2003) was rather pointless - at least I do not remember the point - but Morgan Freeman was dignified, reserved and authorative in a way that does not seem like acting but rather seems to be his true personality.  (The sooner the expensive sequel Evan Almighty is forgotten the better).

Emperor penguines on the march

The major almost divine look at those magnificent animals in The March of the Penguins (2005) would not be the same without Freeman as the narrator of the English version.

The President gives the bad news in Deep Impact

When Paramount Pictures and Dream Works chose Morgan Freeman to play the role of the President of the United States in Deep Impact (1998) they knew what they did. In fact, Freeman as the President is probably more memorable in this divine catastrophe movie than the amazing special effects of a major tsunami hitting the costal cities of United States
Maggie (Hilary Swank) and Eddie (Morgan Freeman)

The overwhelming presence of Morgan Freeman is difficult to hide. He really had to work in order to hide it and to become a regular small guy Eddie "Scrap-Iron" Dupris in the powerful  Million Dollar Baby (2004) for which he deservedly received the Academy Award.

Morgan Freeman is probably one of the reasons why North Americans chose African-American Barack Obama Barak as their president with such an overwhelming vote. The white Americans instinctively feel the moral and spiritual power in Freeman and sense that this is genuine and not some low greedy character acting for money and fame.
Almost amighty Paul Shannon pulling the ropes in Chain Reaction

The power of Freeman's presence shines through in the movie Chain Reaction (1996) giving the film tension and depth as he acts the role of an almost divine being in those big gray organizations that the often so paranoid Americans feel are pulling the real ropes behind the scenes.

Morgan Freeman acting the role of God?

Iconoclastic movements in Judaism, Christianity and Islam are not happy with any images of God and it is forbidden in the Torah to worship images of God. But Christianity rejected iconoclasm and icons are filling both Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches and monasteries around the world.

So, to cast Morgan Freeman as God visible is in the spirit of St John of Damascus (676-749) who argued that Incarnation, the conception of virgin Mary and the birth of God as man in Bethlehem, gives us permission to portray images of God. But not to worship them.

We believe that Jesus Christ is man and God and He says "who has seen me has seen Father".
John 14:9

So Morgan is portrayed as God in this spirit of humanity rejecting extreme iconoclastic claims.

He does it rather well in Bruce Almighty, don't you think, and very convincingly as the almost divine mortals, lthe President of the United States or the head of the secretive C-Systems Research facility.

Well, to make the record straight, here is another excellent man made image of God. van Eyck brothers put the focus where it should be when imagining God - in the man, Jesus Christ.

Image of God the Father in Ghent altarpiece 
Hubert and Jan van Eyck 1432

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