An exquisite art-house film about a beatified martyr. The triumphant arrival of a belated documentary of a celebrated gospel concert. A fact-based drama about an alliance of devout and unbelieving survivors of clerical sex abuse calling for justice. These are just a few of an unusually large crop of notable films that tackled religious and spiritual themes in 2019.
Let’s face it, they could play John Williams’ ominous “Imperial March” over scenes of Uncle Deadly from the Muppets lobbing Green Goblin pumpkin-bombs at Scrat the saber-squirrel (I mean, they literally could, legally, and you could watch it on Disney+ forever and ever), and many of us would still feel emotions stir.
An ecstatic, anguished three-hour cinematic hymn, Terrence Malick’s A Hidden Life sings the life and death of Blessed Franz Jägerstätter in asymmetrical binary form, in contrasting theologies — theology and anti-theology — of the body.
For a Catholic critic — or at least for this Catholic critic — a movie like The Two Popes presents a number of temptations.
Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood holds a special place — it would not be too strong to say a sacred place — in the hearts of many. Yet that neighborhood is an infinite distance from where we live now.
Anna and Elsa’s relationship is a major improvement on the first film, but in almost every other way this sequel is lost in the woods.
Harriet’s appeal is multifaceted, appealing to three demographics underserved by mainstream Hollywood fare: women, people of color and people of faith. Producer Debra Martin Chase knows something about these three demographics.
The strongest scene in Kasi Lemmons’ Harriet might be a moment when its indomitable protagonist appears at her weakest.
I’m tempted to call Light from Light the first ghost story I’ve ever seen that I completely believe.
Silence, reflection, the search for meaning, the interior life: These are among the hallmarks of Paul Harrill’s work.
Copyright © 2000– Steven D. Greydanus. All rights reserved.