Having received the DVD of The Exorcism of Emily Rose yesterday as a Christmas present, we promptly watched it.
I shalln't bore you with a reiteration of the basic points of the movie and the ambiguity involving whether or not Emily was in fact possessed and her demons needed exorcizing.
Laura Linney and Tom Wilkinson as Father Moore were convincing. My family wanted a bit more certainty. With this movie, I don't think it's necessary. If Emily or Father Moore were the actual protagonists, it would have been good to have a fitting conclusion with the forces of Good winning over the forces of Evil. However, the movie's underlying theme was the conversion of Father Moore's lawyer, Erin Bruner. Not a complete conversion, but as St. Augustine wrote about himself, a finding of the right path that will lead to God.
What I was most intrigued by was the part of the prosecutor, the devout Methodist whose faith was mentioned all of two times, in the beginning when he was chosen and at the end when he gave his summation. In the courtroom, he was expected to represent the interests of the People, etc. But I was expecting more. All the different reviews I had read at the time of the movie's release indicated that his faith would play a bigger role, with soul searching of some kind. But aside from his being annoying and argumentative in the courtroom, his character came off as nothing more than the epitome of the 'Enlightened' Man who views anything spiritual as superstition.
I enjoyed the movie and would recommend it. It is a worthy and credible addition to the genre despite its flaws. Aside from the prosecutor, the characterizations were excellent. I especially liked the look of the Rose family at the beginning of the movie with their 'thousand yard stares'. Laura Linney is one of my favorite actresses currently working. I'll give it four and a half stars out of five.
By the way, in case you're wondering why we're dissecting this now, unless it's a foreign film with subtitles, watching films in the theater is pretty pointless for me these days unless I'm there simply for the visual element of a film on the big screen and some buttered popcorn and a Coke.