Mel Gibson, 2004 News
actor and director, garnered intense buzz for his incendiary film, The Passion of the Christ, months before its February release. The film, in Latin and Aramaic with English subtitles, depicts the last 12 hours of Jesus's life in explicitly violent detail. Many derided the film as anti-Semitic, saying it cast blame on the Jews for Jesus Christ's crucifixion. A number of evangelical Christian and Catholic groups, however, praised the film for its portrayal of Jesus Christ's sacrifice. New Yorker film critic David Denby said Gibson's ?obsession with pain, disguised by religious feelings, has now reached a frightening apotheosis.?