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Catholic movie weekend

I took advantage of my days off to get two movies out of the video store, "Doubt" and the cinematic version of "Brideshead Revisited".

"Doubt" was excellent.  Meryl Streep deserved an Oscar, though it went to another of my favourites, Kate Winslet, for a movie I've not seen yet.  Sister Aloysius is the kind of terrifying nun we all had nightmares about as Catholic kids.  She really does want to protect the children in her school, but her motives, defined by a pinpoint-focused certainty and a will to assert herself in the parish, are not pure.  Philip Seymour Hoffman looks appropriately Irish as Fr. Flynn, whose motives regarding the school's first black student might be pure, but we never find out for sure, hence the "Doubt" of the title.  This movie takes place in the Bronx in winter of 1964, a time wherein I was gestating inside of my mom, but it all felt very familiar.  Gotta love the old Sisters of Charity of New York habits.

As for "Brideshead", all I can ask is...why?  The movie is a jumble and loses absolutely all the themes and plot points of the book.  Julia married Rex because Rex was a convert to Catholicism?  Buh?  Her whole existential angst started with her having a tacky Savoy Chapel wedding because he was divorced!  Sebastian driven to drink because he was jealous of the attraction between Julia and Charles?  Double buh?  He started drinking because, as Cordelia put it, he had a vocation and he hated it.  Plus the actor playing Sebastian wasn't nearly cute enough.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 25th, 2009 03:24 pm (UTC)
I really, really liked Doubt. I like conflict where neither side is Pure and Right. Yeah, maybe Sister A. was harsh and scary, but Father Flynn basically demanded respect solely for being male. It was fascinating.
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Aug. 25th, 2009 04:25 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't call it a fine movie. As I said, it is a muddle and misses all the themes, reducing it to, "Oh look what a hard-nose Lady Marchmain is because of her religion, and how it destroyed her kids."
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 25th, 2009 05:53 pm (UTC)
Oh and if you haven't seen, The Mircle of Marcelino about a group of monks who take in an orphan baby. Get the Spanish version (not the dubbed). I love this movie and get teary eyed just watching the trailer.

Second recommendation for this movie I've seen. My aunt pointed it out to me at a Catholic conference we went to and it was at a dealer's table. It was almost like being at a fandom con but the fandom was Catholicism. ;)
Aug. 25th, 2009 06:02 pm (UTC)
Doubt (via Netflix) is currently sitting on my bedside table to be watched. I've had it for like 2 weeks now... maybe I should get on that if it's as good as everyone is saying it is.
Aug. 26th, 2009 06:09 am (UTC)
Yeah, you should.
Aug. 26th, 2009 04:58 pm (UTC)
Tonight maybe since I don't have school tomorrow. :)
Sep. 4th, 2009 08:48 am (UTC)
The original Brideshead Revisited miniseries is the best thing ever--after the book! I reread the novel every few years. And the miniseries with its GORGEOUS actors is a favourite view while I'm cleaning tack. :)

There's a new book out on the autobiographical background of Waugh's Brideshead and the real life aristocratic family that inspired it. He was in love with a self-destructive young man who became the basis for Sebastian and then shared a life long platonic friendship with his beautiful sister. The Charles-Julia relationship was never quite convincing for me because the passion was never there. The real passion was for Sebastian. Also Waugh is generally much better with his male characters.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )


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