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Leap of Faith

Published January 21, 2022

Leap of Faith

Film info

  • Title Leap of Faith
  • Director Richard Pearce
  • Year 1992
  • Run time 1hr 48m
  • Genres Comedy, Romance, Drama
  • Tagline Real miracles, sensibly priced

In a tour-de-force performance, Steve Martin plays Reverend Jonas Nightengale, a slick-as-oil flimflam man who'll trade salvation for a donation to his touring ministry. Jonas knows how to work a crowd and a con, but his works of wonder are done with mirrors and smoke. When his tour bus breaks down, Jonas pitches his tent in impoverished Rustwater, Kansas. While his alluring manager tries to persuade the local sheriff not to close the show, Jonas sets his sights on a beautiful skeptic named Marva. But making a believer out of Marva is going to take a real miracle.

Live blog

Time Comment
1:47 Leaving environment out of it, you’ve got to love a big ol' US truck.
6:49 He’s like a devious Sherlock.
14:59 Really not sure I can cope with a relatively young Liam Neeson.
16:37 They’re driving along listening to Meat Loaf… earlier they were being driven by Meat Loaf.
21:56 Can’t believe the size of this operation… the tent is massive.
26:16 Does Miss Congeniality mean more than just the name of the movie?
29:59 “I’m having an accessory crisis.”
38:51 The power of the lord is really quite aggressive.
40:16 Woah, who knew Steve Martin could Riverdance?
48:16 “I believe in life. What it does to you, and what you do back.”
54:41 The crop top/cowboy hat combo is not going to catch on as sports wear.
1:00:49 Ooh, he became a human glitterball.
1:14:53 It reminds me of the Only Fools episode with the church statue in the rain.
1:17:21 “Manipulators are sneaky, I’m obvious.”
1:34:50 Some interesting ethical dilemmas in this film.

Thoughts

We chose this film due to the sad passing of Meat Loaf (and the fact Spice World isn’t available online at the moment), and it’s an odd little number. Steve Martin absolutely owns the stage, and this character is right up his street, full of swagger and confidence and people-reading manipulations, a grumpy but troubled interior with a layer of extrovert sheen on top.

Liam Neeson shows glimpses of star power but clearly struggles with the accent - can’t hide the Irish and this might be the film that made him realise there was no point in trying.

It’s character driven, because the story is quite light - evangelical con artists take a small town and debate the rights and wrongs of their chosen profession. I could never really see where it was going or what the point of it was, but still somehow found it engrossing.

Rating: 3 / 5

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