Truth is agnostic
Robert Duvall is on a mission here, a mission he has been working towards for many years. The Apostle is an idea that's been rattling around in his head and he finally able to get made, writing, directing, and starring himself.
The result is a character study of a complex pentecostal preacher, Sonny, who lacks a certain amount of self control. Having been a preacher since the age of twelve, his religion is a fundamental building block of his character. In the midst of his marriage falling apart, and being removed from his church, he hits a man in the head with a baseball bat, and he takes to the road. He starts going by "E.F." and even re-christens himself as "The Apostle" and tries to rebuild a life that is meaningful to him.
Duvall is perfect in his role. We get a sense of exactly how trapped in by his ideas Sonny is
The Apostle is a pretty long movie. Occasionally, the casual pace feels a bit indulgent. It's a borderline case. I'll bet your own opinion will be more related to your general opinion of this kind of movie.
As the curtain closes, it occurs to me that, no matter the viewer's opinion of religion, televangelists, pentecostals, or whatever aspect may seem important, the material probably will reinforce those same opinions. Although I may have suspicions of Duvall's own relationship to the material, he has presented it in a way that echos truth. And that's the strength of the film.
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