Sunday, September 30, 2018

The Seminarian

A closeted gay student at an evangelical seminary is a contrast with a rather obvious clashing point, with the predicted ending being that the student is kicked out and must find or come into his own identity free of exterior constraints. Yet The Seminarian (2010) smartly avoids that road well-traveled. Instead, the screenwriter risks giving theology a prominent, and perhaps even central place in the film. The venture is at odds with the bottom-feeder mentality of Hollywood represented in the film, De-Lovely 2004), in which Cole Porter’s bisexuality occupies center-stage. Comparing these two films, irony drips off the screen as De-Lovely, which is patterned after a theatrical musical, looks down on Hollywood and yet has a common theme, while The Seminarian is a film through and through and yet takes the high road by supposing that the viewers can and will stay through some substantive theology, which transcends social issues and even the dramatic.

The full essay is at "The Seminarian."