Along with about 50 others, I did spend some quality time with Mel
Gibson yesterday before and after a screening of his The Passion.
We all signed confidentially agreements, but with Lloyd Grove apparently
invited to roam around the Motion Picture Association’s plush downtown
theater, the fact that the screening took place shouldn’t get me on the
wrong side of a lawsuit with my new friend Mel. He is, by the way,
sincere, friendly and, well. . . rather short (this eyewitness report
particularly pleased the tall men in my house, although they are huge
Gibson fans all). No, I didn’t get a picture or autograph, but others
who were unable to pull off my studied nonchalance at being with one of
Hollywood’s mega-stars enjoyed Gibson’s good-natured willingness to
please. He was genuinely interested in the reactions of the audience.
The movie is intense and riveting, and the time quickly passes as you
are completely drawn into the events in biblical Jerusalem. Although
Gibson hasn’t yet begun negotiating with distributors, it is intended
for general, nationwide distribution. One can’t imagine grabbing a
bucket of popcorn with a super-sized diet coke before settling down to
witness this graphic depiction of Christ’s passion and crucifixion. My
understanding of Christ’s ordeal will be forever shaped by this
remarkable movie. Some will unfairly use Gibson’s labor of love to
create a controversy, which is wholly unjustified in the case of this
masterful film, but hopefully Gibson realizes that this too shall pass.