Sister Rose at the Movies at Patheos

In addition to my movie reviews at St. Anthony Messenger and the National Catholic Reporter, I continue to post on my Patheos blog. Click here for the latest.

American Idol’s Jessica Sanchez: when the whole world held its breath

If you ever doubt the power of music to transcend daily life, listen to Jessica Sanchez’s rendition of  “And I Will Always Love You”. Jessica channels Whitney and when she pauses just before she belts out “And I-I-I will always love you” I think the whole world held its breath. I did. I don’t think I have EVER seen Randy Jackson so moved. Jennifer Lopez says, “God blesss you” and Steve Tyler tells Jessica: you just made 40 million people cry.

Dolly Parton’s little song …

Maybe “American Idol” isn’t ready to give up the ghost yet after all (and I love “The Voice”!)

“Game Change” focuses plenty on Palin but lacks punch

(c) HBO

HBO film ‘Game Change’ focuses plenty on Palin, but lacks punch

by Sr. Rose Pacatte on Mar. 08, 2012

“Game Change”
9 p.m. EST/8 p.m. CST Saturday, March 10, HBO

In August 2007, the media pundits were after Republican presidential candidate John McCain (Ed Harris), and he hated being their target. He brought in experienced strategist Steve Schmidt (Woody Harrelson) to take over the senior staff position on his campaign, shaking up the team then headed by campaign manager Rick Davis (Peter McNicol) and including Mark Salter (Jamie Sheridan) and Mark Wallace (Ron Livingston), with Fred Davis (Bruce Altman) as image consultant.

When the primaries were over and McCain was the de facto Republican nominee, he had yet to choose a vice presidential running mate before the Democratic convention in August 2008. The team floated Sen. Joe Lieberman (a miscast, goofy-looking Austin Pendleton), but choosing him, according to Schmidt, was “the right thing to do but the wrong thing to win.” Schmidt tells McCain and staff that they needed a “game changer,” which meant they had to do four things: win back the independents, excite the base, create distance from the Bush administration and close the gender gap with women. Unless they could regain at least 15 percent of the 20 percent disapproval rate for McCain with women, they had no chance at winning the White House.

Rick Davis does an Internet search for female Republicans holding office, because they didn’t really have anyone in mind. He discovers Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (Julianne Moore), and is riveted by her charisma. She’s pro-life, a devout Christian, mother of five and likes to moose hunt. “A woman with a gun,” Davis says. “The base will love her.”

 
                                          Julianne Moore as a thoughtful Sarah Palin above and at the Republican convention in HBO’s “Game Change”
                                                                                     premiering Saturday, March 10, 9pm (photo: HBO)
Continue reading Sr. Rose’s review here
 Photo: HBO

Hallmark hits a home run with ‘A Smile as Big as the Moon’

My review in the National Catholic Reporter: Hallmark hits a home run with ‘A Smile as Big as the Moon’.

Have a Little Faith to air Sunday, November 27 (Hallmark Hall of Fame)

Have a Little Faith (Sunday, November 27, ABC, 9/8) is Mitch Albom‘s fourth book into a made-for-TV movie and the Hallmark Hall of Fame latest holiday offering.

The movie will seem familiar territory for Albom fans at first, then it moves beyond the interview with a beloved mentor, to living the lessons learned. Based on a series of interviews, like “Tuesdays with Morrie”, Albom (Bradley Whitford) visits Rabbi Lewis (Martin Landau) who asks Mitch to write and deliver his eulogy. Mitch accepts but only if he can interview the rabbi, since it has been a long time since they were in touch.

What Mitch learns from Rabbi Lewis opens his eyes to people and stories of faith around him. He learns about the Reverend Covington (Laurence Fishburn), an ex-con and recovering addict, who runs an inner-city Detroit church, with a badly leaking roof, for those in need of help.

As with Albom’s stories, he takes us on a life-changing journey with him. The acting in “Have a Little Faith” is believable, and Martin Landau especially adds other-worldly humanity and humor to the story. Albom makes us ask: who are the people who have made a difference in our lives, who have helped make us who we are today?

 

 

Sister Rose YouTube Channel

A few weeks ago I began reviewing current films for American Catholic.org

It is the online, continually updated version of St. Anthony Messenger.

I am also doing a weekly “Faith & Media: segment for American Catholic Radio on the Franciscan Media site

Stop by and visit!!

Here’s my review of the new Harry Potter film.

To subscribe to these weekly updates, visit http://www.Youtube.com/sisterroseACO

 

Beyond the Blackboard – Hallmark Hall of Fame movie for Easter Sunday, April 24

Beyond the Blackboard (CBS, Sunday, April 24, 9/8)

This Hallmark Hall of Fame special is based on the book Nobody Don’t Love Nobody: Lessons on Love From the School With No Name, by Stacey Bess. Her first job is at a school for homeless children, grades 1-6; the classroom is a warehouse shelter. This film, starring Emily VanCamp, is gritty and inspiring—a tribute to teachers who persevere and care. (Thanks to St. Anthony Messenger; this is my review from the April issue).

The Silence PBS Frontline special on clergy sex abuse in Alaska to air tonight or online

For my review click here: PBS “Frontline” to air THE SILENCE tonight: clergy sex abuse in Alaska

Elsie Boudreau & Alberta Steve: their stories are told in "The Silence"

The Silence website

Amish Grace DVD release September 14

The  deeply felt television film, starring Kimberly Williams, will be released on DVD September 14, 2010. It is based on true events about how  the Amish community dealt with the tragedy of the Amish school shootings on October 2, 2006.

Here is a link to my reviews as well as others for this highest rated ever Lifetime movie: Amish Grace

The film is an exercise in forgiveness and reconciliation but is never preachy. Deeply moving but never sentimental.

My only regret is that it was not nominated for an Emmy because it certainly is deserving.

Here are some excerpts from the press release:

“We will not allow hatred into our hearts… it not only goes against God’s will,
it becomes a corrosive force that further compounds the original anguish.” – Amish Elder

THE REMARKABLE TRUE STORY ABOUT
THE POWER OF FORGIVENESS

AMISH GRACE

The Poignant Film Arrives On DVD September 14th
From Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

LOS ANGELES, CA. (August 25, 2010) – The highest rated movie ever to premiere on Lifetime,
Amish Grace arrives on DVD September 14 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Based on a true story and the book Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy by Donald B. Kraybill, Steven M. Nolt, and David L. Weaver-Zercher, Amish Grace chronicles the community of Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, forever changed when a gunman senselessly takes the lives of five girls in a schoolhouse shooting before taking his own life in October of 2006. What transpires takes the town by storm, as the media descend on the city and criticize its Amish leaders for their notion of unconditional forgiveness and their outreach of support to the gunman’s widow. Through the eyes of a grieving mother, Ida Graber (Kimberly Williams-Paisley; Father of the Bride films, “According to Jim”), and other devastated families, the film explores the Amish community’s astonishing reaction of compassion to the horrific events that shook their town and tested their faith.

Directed by Gregg Champion (“The Magnificent Seven”), Amish Grace premiered on Lifetime to over four million viewers and also stars Matt Letscher (“Brothers & Sisters”). $26.98

Emmy Awards Sunday, August 29, 2010: Sr. Rose votes!

As with most award programs, the Emmy Awards were established in 1949 by the Academy for Television Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles  as part of a public relations program.  The Emmy statue is a winged woman to represent art holding an atom that refers to science.

The 62nd Prime Time Emmy Awards will be held on Sunday, August 29, hosted by NBC’s Late Night comedian Jimmy Fallon from the Nokia Theater in downtown Los Angeles. For the first time, the awards will be broadcast simultaneously across time zones so there will be no lag to correct and language or wardrobe gaffs.

I watch a fair amount of television as a reviewer and I genuinely like television, though not all programming rises to the top of my must see list.

Here are my choices for 2010 Emmys in major categories and why:

Comedy Series:  this is easy for me: Glee. I am a complete Gleek. Catholics In Media gave the show its television prize this year  for its  heart, humanity, and humor. The show is populated by characters from the Gospels, therefore, all of us quirky people can find someone, or some theme with which to identify.

Outstanding Drama: My favorite new show from this season remains The Good Wife. The writers have created a role for Juliana Margulies profound talents  as the wife of a jailed politician and mother of two young teens. But what is a good wife? Subtle and rewarding drama; this good wife is a woman we would be proud to know.

Outstanding Made for Television Movie:  It is between Georgia O’Keefe, the artist, and Temple Grandin, the autistic  savant , scientist, author and professor, that created humane and healthy ways to process livestock into the food supply.  Claire Danes was exceptional as Dr. Grandin.

Outstanding Miniseries:  The Pacific will probably win, but my vote is for Return to Cranford. The Pacific was about war, and told the story well enough, but  endless battle scenes over several weeks do not a great miniseries make.  Costume dramas by the British and PBS are consistently good.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series:  A very crowded field. Jim Parsons in The Big Bang theory is one of the most genuinely funny people to come along in ages; the show itself is laugh-out-loud funny. After all, nerds are people, too.  But I also like Matthew Morrison for his role as the glee club teacher in the campy Glee, so Morrison it is.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series: Hands down (or off), Michael C. Hall for Dexter.  It’s creepy, violent, dark, deep where morality is the key character. I do not understand the attraction to the formulaic sports family drama Friday Night Lights, which I consider to be rather  unimaginative.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series:  Because I am a devoted Gleek, I vote for Lea Michele in Glee.  But Edie Falco in Nurse Jackie is excellent. Very dark humor, but deeply human in a way that touches the spiritual. Edie Falco can play a vulnerable and flawed human train wreck in ways that demand hope that people can change.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: this is really tough and I would be happy if any of these women would win, with the exception of  Connie Britton. She’s a fine actress, it’s just that Friday Night Lights is a poor vehicle for her talents. If I were a  voting member of the Academy, I’d give it to Juliana Margulies in The Good Wife.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie: Crowded field, tough call. For reasons noted above, Claire Danes  as Temple Grandin.  Phenomenal interpretation of a  gifted woman who surprised everyone.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Gleeks rule: Chris Colfer as Kurt in Glee. He is the young man who must tell his father what he already knows,  that he is gay.  The episode where they reconcile and embrace one another for who they are is one of the most moving of the season.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Terry O’Quinn in Lost. His intelligent and nuanced character carried the series demonstrating that supporting actors are as necessary as the headliners. It takes a village, though here it lost one – or did it?

Outstanding Actor in a Miniseries or Movie:  Michael Gambon as the father in yet another rendition of Jane Austin’s Emma.  Great ensemble cast.

Outstanding Supporting actress in a Comedy Series:  Modern Family has a lot of nominations, but as a card-carrying Gleek, I vote for Jane Lynch as the outrageous  and devious Sue Sylvester in Glee.  She plays the villain, but even villains have hearts.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series:  How to choose? This is a category filled with terrific actresses who gave consistently good performances. Archie Panjabi in The Good Wife. Truly, any of these ladies deserve the honor.  Rose Byrne as Ellen in Damages would be my next preference. The moral vicissitudes of Damages are more complex than The Good Wife, and Rose is at the center in Damages. But I like The Good Wife; the characters in Damages, not so much. Though they are eminently watchable.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie: I really did not like HBO’s you Don’t Know Jack about Jack Kevorkian, though culturally I suppose one could make a case for it as being important as a way to try and grasp Dr. Death and his influence on our culture, so sorry Susan.  I am going to hope (and guess) that either Catherine O’Hara or  Julia Ormond take home an Emmy for their roles in Temple Grandin.

Outstanding Music, Variety or Comedy Series:  My sympathy vote goes to Conan O’Brien because of the way he was treated when NBC pushed him out of the Tonight Show slot to bring back Jay Leno.  But I am going to go with  The Colbert Report because Stephen Colbert is incisive, smart, and funny in ways that highlight truth. Sure, the same could be said of Jon Stewart, but I really like The Colbert Report.

Outstanding Reality Competition Show: The sisters in my community put me on to Project Runway, my younger sister made me watch Top Chef when I was visiting, I cannot stand The Amazing Race because I lived in New York for too long,  American Idol is getting boring (and I have really supported this show!), so this leaves me with Dancing with the Stars, which I really like.  In terms of art and creativity, however, I am going to vote for Project Runway (and hope that next year someone will nominate So You Think You Can Dance.)

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