Renowned film director Martin Scorsese may have felt a blessing from Pope Francis during his recent meeting at the Vatican for the launching of his new film "Silence" featuring Spiderman-actor Andrew Garfield.
Scorsese feels encouraged by positive reviews about the movie, and according to film critics may have the probability of getting nominated for the Oscars. He met with Pope Francis for a courtesy call that could have also been a "blessing" for the movie.
The director said he had some light moments with the Pope and even exchanged some jokes. The film was also symbolically shown close to a giant crucifix in the chapel. The Pope also said that he has read the 1996 book written by Japanese Shusaku Endo -who became a Catholic convert- from which the movie was based on.
The film, set in the backdrop of Christian persecution back in 17th century Japan, follows the story of two Jesuit priests who were searching for their mentor in Japan in the midst of Christian persecution during the period.
"Until I met him, that is, and then he was completely disarming. I was able to make a few jokes. He laughed a few times. He made a joke to me. It was sweet," Scorsese said. He said that he was very nervous about the meeting and was asked to follow strict protocols, which somehow gave him comfort upon meeting the Pope.
"Silence" recently received a standing ovation during its public screening Sunday in Los Angeles. The screening drew a crowd of almost 700 people at Westwood's Village Theater who critically praised the film. Many believe that it will be a major contender among reputed film awards bodies.
Film critics are hopeful that it may become a lead contender for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Picture and Best Director. Several critics also say that the film may not be an easy one to watch, considering that the gripping storyline involves a lot of highly emotional, personal struggles. It also features edge of your seat situations where Christians face intense torture or certain death unless they renounce their faith.
Meanwhile, Scorsese said that British actor Garfield and co- star Adam Driver were seriously involved in familiarizing themselves with the preparations for filming. He said that Garfield even spent 30 days with Jesuits to learn of their spiritual exercises to make his renditions more realistic and immersive.
"Silence" will be released across the United States on Christmas Day.