Most of the fiction that comes into my brain any more comes through the movies. Today I propose a double-feature: two movies worth seeing where the protagonist isn’t so good you can’t identify with him, and not so bad you wouldn’t want to.
Flawed saints are the flip side to the honorable thief and the prostitute with the heart of gold, but let’s be honest, pointing out feet of clay is not much of a trick. These films succeed because they recognize the tangled complexity of goodness in a human being. Robert Duvall is beyond amazing in The Apostle (when he yells at God, you believe God is listening), and Jack Black will surprise you in Bernie–though East Texas is really the star of the film.