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Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Rapture (1991)

A lonely woman (Mimi Rogers) engages in a promiscuous "swingers" lifestyle in Los Angeles with anonymous strangers along with her sexual companion (Patrick Bauchau). But she finds God and becomes a born again Christian and devotes her life to being worthy of his love in anticipation of the coming of The Rapture which will take her and her young daughter and other believers to Heaven. But is this God worthy of her love? Written and directed by Michael Tolkin, he wrote Altman's THE PLAYER, this is an audacious and uncompromising film and while not without its flaws, it provokes and challenges. I've often been struck by the dichotomy of the Old Testament and the New Testament in the Bible: the angry vengeful God of the Old and the gentle loving Jesus of the New. It's almost as if some PR person said, "this angry God stuff isn't working anymore. We need to lighten up!". The God in this film is the demanding God of the Old Testament, love me and obey me and don't ask questions. Tolkin's film doesn't back down and goes there. The film's low budget doesn't allow for special effects so the apocalypse when it comes looks pretty cheesy but the film's idea overrides the cheap effects. Mimi Rogers gives an excellent layered performance and its to her credit that she took the challenge (reputedly several "name" actresses turned the part down). With David Duchovny, James Le Gros and Will Patton.

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