Reel Spirituality

A Prairie Home Companion

Similar to the radio show, which has been on the air since 1974 (or as Guy Noir says, “…since Jesus was in the 3rd grade.”), this fictional movie is not about anything in particular really. Less about plot (the viewer is supposedly getting a behind-the-scenes look at the final radio broadcast of the show due to the sale of the Fitzgerald Theater to a cold-hearted corporate hack), the film is more about moments, songs, conversations, and characters…

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Iris

“Iris,” the most adult film of the three movies, is also a true story of a woman stricken with Alzheimer’s disease. Adapted from John Bayley’s (portrayed by Jim Broadbent) memoir of his wife, the philosopher and novelist Iris Murdoch (Judi Dench), the movie shows viewers their 40-plus year marriage. It movingly brings to light the love and pain which commitment can bring, particularly when one of the life partners slowly loses her mind to Alzheimer’s disease…

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I Am Sam

Though the plot is somewhat predictable and a tear-jerker (in the best and worst sense of the phrase), Sam’s unconditional, unabashed, and inexhaustible love for Lucy is inspiring to any parent regardless of their I.Q. Even Rita is transformed, as she discovers her own humanity by seeing the beauty of Sam’s…

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A Beautiful Mind

Mental illness is not something we “successful and self-reliant” Americans like to look at. Thus, these portrayals give us a window into persons we often otherwise fail to see…

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2012

2012 is ridiculous in an awesome kind of way, but what else can you expect from a disaster movie literally about the end of the world?

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American Beauty

Extreme demands extreme art. American Beauty is extreme. Extremely funny, extremely touching, extremely disturbing…

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Side Effects – Visual Parables

We’ve all heard those pharmaceutical commercials in which the warning about the medication’s side effects takes up more time than the rosy claim that this pill is the salvation from the ailment making your life miserable…

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Lars and the Real Girl

Lars and the Real Girl is like the medieval miracle and morality plays. These portrayals of biblical stories and ethical tales were staples of village life in pre-literate Europe and the Middle East. These plays spread the teachings of the Bible and Gospels far and wide…

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An Inconvenient Truth

Nothing has been more surprising – and encouraging – than the warm, continuing support movie goers have given An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore’s sobering presentation on global warming. Little more than a gussied-up version of the slide show Gore has presented worldwide to more than a thousand audiences since the late eighties, the film has nevertheless proven compelling…

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Becket

When I saw this film as a freshman in college, I did not much identify with Thomas becoming a martyr, but I did hear God calling me to the Christian ministry…

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Amistad

Like Schindler’s List, Amistad does not simply portray the dehumanization caused by racial bigotry, though it does do that movingly and convincingly. Instead, it also reveals human goodness even within evil systems, hope within horror…

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American Beauty

Extreme demands extreme art. American Beauty is extreme. Extremely funny, extremely touching, extremely disturbing. It is the best American film yet this year. American Beauty offers a bracing tonic, a chilling antidote to the madness concluding our millennium…

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