REVIEW (GRADE: A-)
This has been a prolific decade for films about Joseph Smith. Ten years ago the Church produced The Restoration, a lovely short film about the First Vision (watch it here) that improved greatly on the cheesy and dated 1976 version. Then non-Mormon actor Jonathan Scarfe brought conviction and charisma to the role in the Work and the Glory trilogy, his performance arguably the best aspect of that well-made, but uneven and incomplete, series of films. Later, Nathan Mitchell was so good in Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration (watch it here), Emma Smith: My Story (watch it here), and other films that his portrayal became definitive for many viewers. Now we come full circle as Dustin Harding, who was 15 when cast as a 14 year-old Joseph in The Restoration, steps back into the prophet’s shoes for Joseph Smith: Plates of Gold, the first film of a planned trilogy by acclaimed writer/director Christian Vuissa (Errand of Angels, One Good Man).