“A Hologram for the King” (Lionsgate)
By Catholic News Service
The simple joys of a stable career and a second chance at love are celebrated in this adaptation of Dave Eggers’ 2012 novel, which stars Tom Hanks as a U.S. businessman trying to persuade the King of Saudi Arabia to invest in a holographic teleconferencing system.
Following the pattern set in the book, writer-director Tom Tykwer has his protagonist wandering in the Arabian Desert for most of the film, brooding over his past misdeeds — and suffering quite a bit as a result. Amid the self-recrimination, he fends off romantic advances from a Danish embassy staffer (Sidse Babett Knudsen) but also explores the beginnings of an honest relationship with a local doctor (Sarita Choudhury).
Since this personal component of the plot follows a divorce, it will strike Catholic viewers as less straightforward than the executive’s regrets over his professional transgressions, such as his role in the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs to China.
Adult themes, brief upper female nudity, a scene of drug use, fleeting rough and profane language. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.