Monday, March 31, 2008

Horton Hears a Who

I haven't seen this movie yet, but thought I'd mention one aspect which you may want to know before going to see this movie. I've heard from several reliable sources that this movie goes out of its way to portray homeschooling in a negative fashion.

My suggestion: don't make a big fuss or a boycott; that often draws more attention to a movie (and movie-makers LOVE attention!). The best remedy, I think, is watching something else instead.

Friday, March 28, 2008

In Defense of Fairy Tales

We finally saw Disney's Enchanted after many lovely recommendations. I don't think I could possibly say it better than Barb Nicolosi's brief recommendation:

It is smart and at moments hilarious and consciously uncynical. And when Disney is on the dock at the last judgment, they will just show this film and say, "The defense rests."
G.K. Chesterton would love this story that not only defends fairy tales, but gives us a quirky look at our world from someone who finds it completely foreign.

I'm kind of a crazy person sometimes. I've been known to cheer (very loudly) at the television - during football games, spelling bees and *some* political speeches. It doesn't happen a lot in movies, but when there's a glorious moment of truth proclaimed on screen, I can't help myself. I found myself cheering and yelling at more than one point in this story. Good stuff!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Paul Scofield, Rest in Peace

I heard today that actor Paul Scofield died yesterday at the age of 86. Although I've seen him in several movies (mostly Shakespearean), I'll always remember him for his incredible portrayal of St. Thomas More in the 1966 film, A Man for All Seasons. I should write a more thorough review at some point, but suffice it to say for now that this is a beautiful period film, serious and yet very human.

By a funny coincidence, John and I just re-watched this film in the last few days.

Scofield had the loveliest voice. His role as narrator is one of my favorite things about Focus on the Family's Radio Theatre adaptations of the Narnia stories.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Just for St. Pat's day, a great Irish family film

This weekend my family had the joy of watching The Secret of Roan Inish. We honestly didn't get it for St. Patrick's day, that was just a happy coinciedence. Until now, I hadn't seen this film, but remembered hearing good things about it. What a delightful movie!

The film is the story of a girl, who is sent to the country to live with her grandparents. She is actually returning to the place to her birth, as her family moved to the city. Her life has not been cheery and blissful, but hard and sad. Her mother has died, and her baby brother was lost at sea and the family has been displaced from there ancestral home. Fiona, the young girl, is told tale after tale about her family's history, including the legend of the selkie, or seal bride. The stories interweave to create a mystery for Fiona, and great hope that she will see her baby brother again.

The film is rated PG, and some younger children may find it intense. My 6 year old son really enjoyed it and was not scared at all. There is toddler nudity, but it is not distasteful. I was surprised how much my kids enjoyed The Secret of Roan Inish, they have told every person they have seen in the past 2 days about the movie. It was so charming and innocent, yet thoroughly entertaining.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Sacred Music on Netflix

I just discovered that Netflix has a "Sacred Classical Music" genre which includes many fine-looking choices. Here are a few that I've added to my queue:

Live in Rome: The Tallis Scholars (we actually have this one at home right now)

Purcell: Sacred Music

Gregorian Chant: Songs of the Spirit

Faith of Our Fathers

Ave Verum: Popular Choral Classics

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Saint John Bosco, Mission to Love

Saint John Bosco, Mission to Love

Our family watched this film last week, borrowed from the parish's Youth Group's DVD library. We loved it! The actor who played the saint of the youth is wonderful, likable, believable.

I read tidbits of this saint to the kids during homeschool through the years, but the film really brought it to life: his choice to be with troubled kids and to transform them by the power of God's love is very well demonstrated in the film.

Little Saint Dominic Savio brought tears to all of our eyes, and I think helped all of us to desire holiness more deeply!

Description from Ignatius Press:

Flavio Insinna gives a winning performance as John (Don) Bosco, the great priest and educator of youth from the tough streets of Turin, Italy. Beautifully filmed in Italy, this epic movie dramatizes the many challenges that Don Bosco had to overcome from this childhood through founding his religious order, the Salesians, for helping educate boys. Growing up without a father gave him compassion for the many orphans that he cared for, while he faced persecution from both secular society and the Church as he fought to build a place to house and educate the homeless, outcast youth of Turin. His deep faith, creative imagination and profound charity shine through in this wonderful film. Also stars Charles Dance (Gosford Park) and popular Italian singer and actress Lina Sastri.