Perhaps there needs to be a sub-blog that ONLY covers press reactions to "The Passion of the Christ." No, I don't think so. But Jack Mathews of the New York Daily News does have one of the first takes on the story that will keep this media fest alive for, oh, 11 more months.
If you think the debate over Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" will be over once the movie has taken in its last piece of silver at theaters, consider next year's Oscar race. Will it or won't it receive nominations? And if not, true believers will say, why in the hell not? ...
It's brilliantly filmed by cinematographer Caleb Deschanel, a four-time Oscar nominee. And given the graphic flesh trauma borne by blood-drenched star James Caviezel, one would think a makeup nomination is in the bag.
But what of the movie itself, and Gibson as Best Director? Is "Passion" going to divide Academy voters along the blue state/red state fault line the way it seems to be dividing the general population? It only takes 20 percent of a branch's membership to get a nomination.
P.S. Excellent comment from a reader: "Better yet ... since the film is almost entirely in Aramaic, will it be nominated in the Best Foreign Language Film category?"