With all the bullshit about The Golden Compass flying around, somehow the Catholic League managed to miss out on a film that takes their concept of The Golden Compass to a literal level. Firstshowing.net
has an excellent write-up. (Rotten Tomatoes
also has a set visit article that's worth checking out.)
"Franklyn is basically about four intertwining stories, three of which are based in contemporary London and one of which is based in a kind of parallel fantasy environment called Meanwhile City. Our hero in that strand is this sort-of masked vigilante detective who's the only atheist in Meanwhile City, played by Ryan Phillippe, who basically runs around trying to extract people from cults, has a big cynicism about the whole thing and hates The Ministry with a vengeance."
What is Meanwhile City? "It's this place which is sort-of run by a shadowy, religious uber-power called The Ministry who has decided, over the centuries, that as long as they can get their population to believe in something - anything - they can control them. People have faiths and religions based on strange things like The Seventh Day Manicurists and Washing Machine Street Preachers. Their doctrines and dogmas are all based on things like washing machine instructions."
From everything I've read, regardless of any atheist content, it still looks like an excellent film. It stars Ryan Phillippe, Eva Green (who was excellent in Casino Royale
), and Sam Riley, and is set to come out in 2008.