The Nostradamus Kid

  • 1993
  • Movie
  • R
  • Comedy, Religious

Basing this screen nostalgia on his own growing pains in the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Australian writer-director Bob Ellis attempts to find cinematic expression for his boyhood brush with religious fanaticism. Unfortunately, his life story is hardly the stuff of a 120-minute epic comedy. Although college newspaper editor Ken Elkins (Noah Taylor) ankled...read more

Where to Watch

Available to Stream

  • Watch on
Rating:

Basing this screen nostalgia on his own growing pains in the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Australian writer-director Bob Ellis attempts to find cinematic expression for his boyhood brush with religious fanaticism. Unfortunately, his life story is hardly the stuff of a 120-minute epic

comedy.

Although college newspaper editor Ken Elkins (Noah Taylor) ankled his fundamentally righteous religion years ago, he is still haunted by the shades of fire and brimstone. As the film flashes back and forth between his rebellious present and his coming-of-age with more pious friend Wayland (Erick

Mitsak), Elkins struggles with the call of the flesh. This religion-sanctioned denial of basic urges drives his childhood sweetheart Esther (Alice Garner) off her mind eventually. Not entirely convinced that the Seventh-Day Adventists are incorrect in predicting Armageddon, Elkins philosophizes

with flamboyant poet McAllister (Jack Campbell) and then puts his energy into pursuing rich beauty Jennie O'Brien (Miranda Otto). Stalking O'Brien, he is served with a restraining order, and his friend McAllister dumps him for a cushy position as a rich woman's boy-toy. On the eve of the predicted

end of the world, Elkins convinces O'Brien to run away with him where they will be safe from nuclear fallout. During this impractical flight, the sexually compatible couple discover their incompatibility as marriage partners. After Elkins's fears of a war with Cuba peter out along with the famous

missile crisis, a pregnant O'Brien marries McAllister, and the confused Elkins invests his zeal in a writing vocation. As the years pass, he becomes a famous playwright and journalist. When he runs into boyhood pal Wayland and his wife Sarai (Lucy Bell), they ask his counsel about breaking with

their Church. The specter of the Seventh Day Adventist Church still hangs over their lives.

Is there anything more unappetizing than a specifically regional coming-of-age yarn whose moral lessons its filmmaker fails to make universal? With its nonincisive flashbacks zigzagging from fire-and-brimstone past to guilt-ridden present, and a lifeless narration that makes each comic payoff

topple before fruition, THE NOSTRADAMUS KID is about as much fun as waiting for the world to end. The color photography is pretty and the supporting cast faithfully chalks up some acting victories. However, Taylor as Elkins wrecks the film's tiny potential with a charismatic void. Throughout this

remembrance of flings past, the viewer gets tired of Elkins's soul-searching combined with hints of his prowess in the sack. When the protagonist's world continues not with a bang but a whimper, we cease caring about him or about the warping effects of organized religions. (Extreme profanity,nudity, sexual situations.)

Cast & Details See all »

  • Released: 1993
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Basing this screen nostalgia on his own growing pains in the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Australian writer-director Bob Ellis attempts to find cinematic expression for his boyhood brush with religious fanaticism. Unfortunately, his life story is hardly t… (more)

Show More »

Trending TonightSee all »