I commented earlier on The Ledge, but now that it has been finally released it’s getting a couple of nods by the media. The move is by Matthew Chapman, the great great grandson of none other than Charles Darwin. He’s also a British citizen so when he came to the USA he realized how much creationism is at war with evolution.
The film is in limited release and while the local Fox News article says it may be the “atheist Brokeback Mountain” I’m doubting it. We have a long ways to go before we see that kind of a breakthrough movie. But it is nice to see a film that is depicting a positive portrayal of an atheist. I know conservative Christians assume Hollywood is full of atheists, but if it is they sure don’t seem to include atheist characters in their productions (possibly for business reasons as atheism can be a death knell for marketing). Unlike the quote from Houston Atheists that films don’t ever show atheists in a positive light I’ve come across some rare ones. For example The Contender with Joan Allen has her character referred to as an atheist and she’s the main hero of the film (it’s not central to the plot, but I certainly took notice when it was mentioned).
We could also consider certain films to be like-minded with atheistic sentiments just as Christians can find like-minded films. What atheists are really looking for, though, are main characters where part of the character’s identity is atheistic. As with any group (even though we compare ourselves to “herding cats” because we’re so hard to organize) we want to see ourselves depicted on the big screen.
I have not had a chance to see The Ledge yet. It’s not available at a nearby theater in my area. Fox News says it may be available in your local market as an on-demand movie so check and see.
For plot and cast visit IMDB. It features two former superheroes, Patrick Wilson from Watchmen and Terrence Howard from Iron Man (well, he got replaced in Iron Man 2 so not quite superhero status). I am glad to see Patrick Wilson, though, Watchmen is one of my favorite films. Liv Tyler also appears and of course we know her from LOTR.
The plotline is simply: A police officer looks to talk down a young man lured by his lover’s husband to the ledge of a high rise, where he has one hour to contemplate a fateful decision.
SIDENOTE: Click on Patrick Wilson in IMDB and you’ll find a link to a not yet released film called The Book of Matthew. It appears to be another film atheists may enjoy. The description says: Post 9/11 New York, a man awakens from a seemingly futile existence as a former teacher leads him into the charismatic fellowship of a fundamentalist church.