While opposition to Ron Howard‘s blockbuster thriller "The Da Vinci Code" has been brewing for some time, another Vatican official has urged a boycott of the film; with only weeks to go, will Catholics moviegoers heed the call?
The Tom Hanks–Audrey Tautou starrer has been generating nothing but buzz since the project was first announced, largely thanks to Dan Brown’s controversial source novel. Among its more objectionable features is the supposition that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were lovers and had children; many more may find Hanks’ pseudo-mullet to be as potent a source of disgust.
From Variety: "On Friday, papal insider Archbishop Angelo Amato denounced the book as ‘stridently anti-Christian’ as well as ‘full of calumnies, offenses and historical and theological errors regarding Jesus, the Gospels and the church.’"
Granted, the 40 million or so people who read Brown’s novel may well be aware that this film adaptation is indeed a work of fiction…maybe. In any case, Catholics intent on seeing "Da Vinci" in any of the over 70 countries it will be released in worldwide beginning May 17 may now reconsider. That count includes South Korea, where the Christian Council of Korea has submitted a motion to stop the film from appearing in Korean theaters altogether.
Demonstrating their sensitivity to the subject of religious opposition, Sony Pictures has a website up dedicated to the open discussion of "The Da Vinci Code" and all of its tricky pseudo-historical plot devices (http://www.thedavincidialogue.com). Here you can read essays by multi-denominational experts, contribute to message board discussions, or (I like this one the best) heed the site’s suggestion to join the Hollywood Prayer Network, where people can deal with the tricky morals and issues in Hollywood — by praying.
"The Da Vinci Code" debuts May 17 at the Cannes Fim Festival, and opens stateside May 19.