If you’re a true Christian (or a true mystic or spiritualist) you have some idea of how inspiration works. It’s never announced or spelled out, for one thing. It comes in soft little pings or a very faint tapping on the door. Or sometimes as a visual metaphor. An image you might understand the instant it appears…or not. This is how God talks to Russell Crowe in Noah, and it’s one of the trippiest little moments I’ve ever experienced in a mainstream film. This is (or at least should be) the value of Noah for those Christians who aren’t ignorant, climate-change-denying, Republican-supporting assholes. It’s genuinely mystical at times, and when it’s not that it’s at least imaginative or audacious or somewhat nutty. Most movies go in the other direction — they try to numb you out with tropes you’ve seen a million times. But Darren Aronofsky was not asleep at the wheel when he cowrote and directed this puppy. If you don’t appreciate Noah‘s general verve and occasional nuttiness then I don’t know what to say to you. Go rent Pompeii or something.

The fate of Noah is being decided on the East Coast as we speak. Deadline‘s Anita Busch is reporting that “tracking has it [earning] anywhere between $40 and $45 million for the 3-day domestically but others have it in the high 30s.” Update: Variety‘s Dave McNary is reporting that Noah “looks likely to land above forecasts with an opening U.S. weekend looking at more than $40 million. Paramount-New Regency’s Biblical epic was tracking to finish Friday slightly above $15 million at 3,936 locations, according to industry estimates, and then duplicate that number on Saturday to finish in the $41 million to $43 million range.”