Leap of Faith


Time Out says

Obviously seeking a role where he can seriously emote and turn in the goofy stuff as well, Martin has backed a loser in this confused spin on Elmer Gantry. His Jonas Nightengale is a cynical charlatan, whose travelling gospel revue mixes showbiz pizazz and cracker-barrel sentiment to con gullible townsfolk out of their cash. Rustwater, Kansas, is the next Bible Belt burg on the hit-list, but Mr Ultra-cynical has to rethink his heartless cool when perky waitress Davidovich engages his romantic attentions, and her kid brother (Haas) starts to believe the showman-preacher can actually make him walk again. Pearce's uncertain entertainment builds a conscience-impaired comic creation from Martin's sham shaman, then asks us to give credence to his part in a sudden crop of bona fide 'miracles' - a dumb plot development as shamelessly manipulative as his earlier slick hick schtick. This is just nonsense, and the star, whose would-be spiritual patter looks like an over-extended sketch anyway, can't save it.


Release details

108 mins

Cast and crew

Richard Pearce
Janus Cercone
Steve Martin
Debra Winger
Lolita Davidovich
Liam Neeson
Lukas Haas
Meat Loaf
Philip Seymour Hoffman