The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc
Director Luc Besson (The Fifth Element) has already proven himself a master of sheer visceral spectacle, and The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc is the film he was born to make. As grand an epic as you're ever likely to see, this retelling of the Joan of Arc story is both educational and spirited, making this elusive historical figure into a living, breathing woman. Milla Jovovich does great things with the title role, and the fire and charisma she brings to the French heroine leave little doubt as to how the faith of a young girl could change the world. Although the movie is marred by an opening scene which is a little too "cute" for its own good, the film nonetheless rebounds nicely, screaming through its 158-minute running time at a breakneck pace with nary a moment to catch one's breath. The DVD features some impressive supplemental material as well, including an isolated musical score, theatrical trailers, and a fabulous 20-minute "making-of" featurette which is every bit as fascinating as the film itself. Beautiful anamorphic widescreen transfer (2.35:1), keep case.