After its limited debut on December 23, Paramount’s Martin Scorsese movie Silence will now expand on Golden Globes weekend January 6, and again on the four-day MLK weekend January 13. The movie just started screening in the past week for awards-season voters and press.

Yesterday, Silence came in as runner-up in the best supporting actor race with the Los Angeles Film critics for Japanese thespian Issey Ogata. Last week, the movie premiered at the Vatican and also screened before hundreds of Jesuits. Scorsese even had a private meeting with Pope Francis.

Silence tells the story about two 17th century Portuguese Jesuits (Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver) who journey to Japan to find their master priest (Liam Neeson) who has gone missing. There they encounter persecution by the governing establishment as they attempt to spread Christianity to the rural communities. At yesterday’s screening in Westwood, it was discussed at a Q&A how Silence is akin to Pier Paolo Pasolini’s 1964The Gospel According To St. Matthew, an homage which Scorsese warmly acknowledged.

Rev. James J. Martin, S.J. has been a consultant to the film in various capacities, and describes Silence as though the viewer is “living in a prayer.”

Scorsese counts 12 Oscar nominations and one win for directing 2006’s The Departed. His noms break down as follows: Eight directing (Raging Bull, Last Temptation Of Christ, Goodfellas, Gangs Of New York, The Aviator, The Departed, Hugo and The Wolf Of Wall Street), two writing (Goodfellas, Age Of Innocence) and two best picture (Wolf Of Wall Street, Hugo).