When Noble first arrived in my inbox, I must admit I was not excited by the synopsis. It is not the type of movie I would normally gravitate toward.
How wrong I was. This is an excellent, smart film, a wonderfully artistic movie, and one of the best motion pictures I have seen this year.
Noble tells the true story of Christina Noble who overcomes the harsh difficulties of her childhood in Ireland to discover her destiny on the streets of Saigon. It follows three segments of Christina Noble’s life. We first meet young Christina (Gloria Cramer Curtis) during her early childhood in Ireland where she struggles to survive without a mother or father, forced to live in an orphanage, abused and alone.
The next Christina (Sarah Greene) we meet is the seventeen-year-old young lady struggling to survive in the early 1960s. She is homeless and attacked, but it is here she receives a vision of living in Vietnam, a place she never would have considered. Regardless, the strange vision has a huge impact on her and it becomes her focus. Adult Christina (Deirdre O’Kane) eventually journeys to Vietnam, where we find her in the 1980s helping abandoned children living on the streets.
The film moves back and forth in time, and this nonlinear editing approach by Mags Arnold works wonderfully. You know it works when, as a viewer, you are not hoping to get back to one of the other stories, but each one is enjoyable in its own right.
The acting in Noble is flawless, not a missed beat in the film. The three Christinas are fantastic, and it is easy to move from one to the other. And director Stephen Bradley should be commended for keeping everything consistent. Good support from the other characters, too, with a stand out performance by Ruth Negga as Christina’s firecracker friend Joan.
See the trailer below:
One of the most impressive features of Noble is the sharp cinematography by Trevor Forrest. His use of the jib is very artistic, but all of the shots are topnotch, with wonderful lighting, too. It is a pretty film visually, but not at all pretentious. Great stylistic approach, and it is consistent throughout the film. Even the use of stock footage from the Vietnam War mixed with new shots during her dream sequence is dynamite.
The set design of Cristina Casali is also splendid. Particularly fine is the early Ireland time period, which is reminiscent of something out of Dickens, creating a great atmosphere and mood. Mix in smart writing and dialogue and you have a great film. Kudos again to director/writer Stephen Bradley.
Noble is a top-notch film, quality all around, and one of the best films I’ve seen this year. Check it out! It will surprise you and leave you wanting more.
Noble is not a Christian family film, but it has a strong moral worldview with plenty of consideration for prayer, faith, and following God’s calling in life. It includes mature subject matter including rape, child abuse, prostitution, and drunkenness. That said, it handles these topics with taste and discreetness, but this is a film more for the high-school student and not the middle-school one. There are several moments of spirituality and faith, most notably when Christina talks to God complete with her doubts and anger, and they are all realistic and not “in your face” at all. I like that Noble is not afraid to consider spirituality and faith.
Christina Noble exemplifies unconditional love in her dealing with the homeless street children of Vietnam. Even though she struggled in her childhood and questioned God and His plans for her life, she understood the idea of God and love. We know from 1 John 4: 8 that the very nature of God is love. He doesn’t just love – He IS love. He loves us in spite of our warts, attitudes, bruises, and ugliness. In the same way, Christina welcomes and loves the little girl with deformities, abandoned in a garbage can.
1 John 8: 7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
God’s love is not calculating or selfishly motivated.
1 John 3:16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
God’s love never fails.
Psalm 52-8 But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God;
I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.
9 For what you have done I will always praise you in the presence of your faithful people. And I will hope in your name, for your name is good.
God’s love endures forever.
Psalm 106: 1 Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
Where might we find ways to show God’s unconditional love to others?
For more information on the movie, check out ‘Noble’ Director/Writer Stephen Bradley Talks Incredible True Story of Christina Noble.
For more about this author, movie critic, and filmmaker, visit Dale Ward’s Official Website.