The Oscar nominations received by this film in 1965 are telling. All five nominations are about costume, coloration and cinematography of the film. These are indeed stunning. But the rest of the film is mediocre at best. Max von Sydow is not at all a convincing Christ (his hairstyle's a disaster to begin with) quite by contrast to Robert Powell in "Jesus of Nazareth". Only in the Lazarus resurrection scene did I feel some of the Heart, the devotion, the passion, that must have been Jesus Christ. To that I can maybe add the scene where Jesus is clearing the temple at Passover. For the rest I could not get beyond the odd hairstyle. Von Sydow's very aristocratic and regal -was Christ an aristocratic character?- but not very divine. The rest of the cast does not work well either, to say the least. On top of that, many a scene feels unnatural and rigid. The film feels anecdotal and lacks true depth. Mr Stevens seemed to have been more preoccupied with the visuals than with screenplay, editing, character depth, casting and directing. At times the film looks like a Renaissance painting or a painting from the Romantic era. That delivers stunning visual joy -especially on my Pioneer Kuro with it's deep blacks- but not if it comes at such a huge cost. In all the piece strikes me as a visual feast but ultimately the film does not convince, especially compared to Zefirelli's Jesus of Nazareth which gets about everything right if you consider Mr Zefirelli's style and the era of his version's making. If you want to enjoy the beautiful cinematography, the colors, the scenery, do watch this film but I suggest you watch Zefirelli's depiction of Christ to get a deeper feeling for the Master, and Gibson's film if you want to grue at all the gore Christ must have gone through at the end of his mission.