Avid Tweeter Russell Crowe took it upon himself a few weeks ago to personally invite the Pope to check out his latest movie, "Noah," in the hopes that personal Papal approval would attract viewers to Darren Aronofsky's Biblical epic. Although Pope Francis took a rain check on the offer for a personal screening and meet-and-greet, it seems Crowe, Aronofsky, and other folks from "Noah" did manage to meet with the pontiff "briefly" during a pit stop in Italy. "Back stage at the Vatican." (He also complained about the lack of flat whites in Rome -- someone, please get on that.) We say, pics of you and the Pope or it didn't happen! Nuns don't count!
In any case, the international effort to draw attention to "Noah" got a little boost from the will-they-won't-they kerfuffle, even if it wasn't quite what Crowe was hoping for. Of course, getting the Pope's support would ostensibly assure religious movie-goers that "Noah" is, well, kosher; it hasn't enjoyed the same grassroots support that made "The Passion of the Christ" so successful.
Pre show with some of the girls pic.twitter.com/KZwuRFnN0j- Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) March 19, 2014
Pope John Paul II saw Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" and gave it two thumbs up, according to sources, and we all know how that went. It's unclear if mainstream movie-goers will be interested, but early buzz for "Noah" has suggested that Aronofsky fans won't be disappointed. It's also already been banned in several countries -- no press is bad press, we say.
Pope Francis I has professed a deep love for Fellini's "La Strada," so at least we know he's got good taste.
Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images