Lets Talk Movies

Monday, January 26, 2009



This movie really brought back memories for me. I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic School all my life. The opening sequence has Fr. Flynn delivering a sermon on a Sunday morning. There are several children in the congregation fidgeting, sleeping, chatting with each other... Sr. Aloysius (Meryl Streep) walks down the aisle..with a stealth only attainable by a nun in full habit (trust me I've been there!) ... and reminds each one to pay attention..smacking one in the head, and startling the sleeper to full attention. Those nuns are Awesome!

The story concerns an older nun in the post Vatican II church mid/late 60's located in something like upstate New York or possibly Southern New Jersey. Sr. Aloysius has it in her head that Fr. Flynn has engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a young 8th grader who happens to be the only black child in the school. The student is also gay in a time when the world did not accept them, and even parents, particularly fathers, were known to beat and even kill their children for being "that way".

The film design is wonderful, voice coaching is perfect, the story is compelling. A friend and I went to see it and we came out with oppositional conclusions about what really happened. Either conclusion is valid based on the evidence put forth. Ms Streep has most certainly earned her Best Actress nomination, as well as Philip Seymore Hoffman as Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Amy Adams and Viola Davis as Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Truly amazing work done by all.

Now, the only criticism I have is that I REMEMBER what it was like to be a practicing Catholic back then..and trust me..the priest NEVER left the pulpit. (Fr. Flynn wanders from the pulpit during his sermons), a nun would NEVER have spoken to a priest in the way that Sr. Aloyisuis speaks to Fr. Flynn, and Sr. James would NEVER mouth off to her Mother Superior.
But that's old school Catholic memories for ya..

This is still a film worth seeing..and I do recommend it!

til next time..



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