Early Review: “The Most Reluctant Convert,” New Movie About C.S. Lewis


A new movie about C.S. Lewis releases on November 3. In this episode of Talking Beasts: The Narnia Podcast, the podcasters review The Most Reluctant Convert, an adaptation of the stage play starring Max McLean. It tells the story of C.S. Lewis’s journey from atheism to Christianity. (Showtimes)

Guest: David Bates from Pints with Jack: The C.S. Lewis Podcast

In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England.

C.S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy

Watch Part 2 of of this review

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Official Synopsis

An elder C.S. Lewis looks back on his remarkable journey from hard-boiled atheist to the most renowned Christian writer of the past century. 

The Most Reluctant Convert features award-winning actor Max McLean as the older Lewis and Nicholas Ralph – breakout star of PBS Masterpiece’s All Creatures Great and Small – as young Lewis. Beautifully filmed in and around Oxford this engaging biopic follows the creator of The Chronicles of Narnia from the tragic death of his mother when he was just nine years old, through his strained relationship with his father, to the nightmare of the trenches of World War I to Oxford University, where friends like J.R.R. Tolkien challenge his unbelief.

Written for the screen and directed by two-time Emmy and BAFTA winner Norman Stone (BBC’s Shadowlands), The Most Reluctant Convert brings to life the spiritual evolution of one the 20th century’s sharpest minds and keenest wits.

13 Responses

  1. Andy Harrelson says:

    I REALLY hope this movie gets a DVD or Digital Release, I’d LOVE to give it a watch!

  2. EJH says:

    There is a DVD of his stage performance. I was able to check it out of my library. He is very careful to play C.S. Lewis well.

  3. Col Klink says:

    Would it be fair to say that the framing device is so supposed to represent the experience of watching the one man show? At first your very conscious of it as a performance. Then as it goes on you start to imagine what McLean is talking about.

    I imagine I’d agree with Glumpuddle about the movie getting predictable. But I’m not really sure how they could have avoided that with this material. I mean if they have the main character becoming an atheist at the beginning and the thing is titled The Most Reluctant Convert, you know he’s going to become some kind of theist by the end. (Maybe that’s why I’m not more intrigued by the movie.)

  4. Elaine Robson says:

    Check CSLewismovie com. . It’s ok a great film! Many theaters have added showtimes beyond Nov. 3.

  5. You might be surprised by his journey–and his sense of humor!

  6. Diane says:

    After seeing the movie last night, I totally agree with David’s view (11-minute mark). I was so confused for the first 15 minutes of the “movie,” wondering why I was watching a “making of” documentary before seeing the movie itself. Plus, they interspersed interviews with some of the best scenes of the movie we hadn’t even seen yet! It was like dumping a bunch of spoilers on us and stealing all our anticipation right before the experience. I had expected something more like the Tolkien movie and I think they could have achieved that, albeit on a much smaller scale and with the full-time narrator. So in future, I will watch this only without the “bookends”!!

    I did love all the actors, the acting, the scenes, and the narrator. I wasn’t impressed by him at the beginning, but halfway through, I decided he was excellent and ALMOST could believe he was speaking in Lewis’s real voice.

  7. Steenie says:

    I loved the movie! The acting, the cinematography! I felt as I was walking in Oxford with him. I loved it when he bought me a pint. Ha! The music was fabulous! Already bought the soundtrack. Well done Fellowship of Performing Arts and Norman Stone. Excellent vision!

  8. S Fiocca says:

    I am interested also

  9. Cecile says:

    I had no interest in the ruinous making of film. Yawn. Angering. Waste of my time.

  10. Just Queen, not High Queen says:

    I love Glumpuddle mentioning that he’s wearing a Gator shirt. Go Gators!
    I enjoyed the movie, having not had the chance to see the play yet, but I wish that some of the scenes could have played out more. I’m also wasn’t a big fan of the film set framing device. I would like to see a more traditional biopic of Lewis someday on his earlier years. What annoyed me the most was that the screening I saw had a long making of featurette beforehand, when I would have preferred to watch it afterwards. I did think the acting was good, and I hope that the actor who played young Jack has a good career ahead of him because he has talent. I’m now going to look for Phantases in every used bookstore I go to from now on.

  1. October 30, 2021

    […] Early Review: “The Most Reluctant Convert  (Download | Live Link) […]

  2. November 4, 2021

    […] to this podcast review of the movie by Narnia […]

  3. January 10, 2022

    […] time, a DVD release has not been announced.Listen to Talking Beasts: The Narnia Podcast‘s review of the film, as well as NarniaWeb’s interview about the stage version with Max McLean, star of both film […]