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The Miracle Maker review

Jesus-flicks are stuck in an unfortunate purgatory. They either adhere rigidly to biblical records, whereby every word sounds like it's carved in marble, or they deviate and are accused of blasphemy before you can shout "Stone the director!". The Miracle Maker is a mixed-quality animated Messiah movie which occasionally manages to subvert the genre expectations.

Rejecting a linear approach, it starts by focussing on a young girl, Tamar (Callard), who later meets Jesus. From this intelligent opening your interest fluctuates wildly, as incredibly detailed 3-D animation segues into 2-D for flashbacks and parables.

It's fitfully exhilarating, but Fiennes achieves the unlikely by making the son of God sound like a vaguely camp self-help therapist. As a record of Jesus' greatest hits, Sunday school teachers will love it and it'll keep the kids happy at Easter, but if you're unfamiliar with the story you might well be bemused. For those cinemagoers who long for a portrayal which truly captures Jesus's revolutionary power, this must stand as an opportunity frustratingly missed.

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