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Year: 2020

‘Corpus Christi’ asks, ‘Who speaks for God?’

‘Corpus Christi’ asks, ‘Who speaks for God?’

“Corpus Christi” (“Boże Cialo”) (2019). Cast: Bartosz Bielenia, Aleksandra Konieczna, Eliza Rycembel, Tomasz Zietek, Barbara Kurzaj, Leszek Lichota, Zdislaw Wardejn, Lukasz Simlat. Director: Jan Komasa. Screenplay: Mateusz Pacewicz. Web site. Trailer. Some of us are naturally inclined to feel the power of spirit, to experience its movement through us. As a consequence, we may well want to convey the essence of that divinity to others, especially those in need of comfort or guidance. But is it a practice for which we need the permission of authority figures? Or should we be free to express ourselves, regardless of whether we fulfill the “qualifications” supposedly required for carrying out this mission? Those are among the questions raised in the new fact-based Polish morality play, “Corpus Christi” (“Boże Cialo”). Twenty-year-old juvenile detention inmate Daniel (Bartosz Bielenia) is a walking contradiction. In one moment, he can be as tough and gritty as the streets he comes from. In the next, however, he can be supremely blissful, even inspiring to others, especially when assisting the prison chaplain, Father Tomasz (Lukasz Simlat), in conducting mass. It’s strange how someone with such an inherently violent streak can find genuine peace and contentment through a religious experience, but Daniel ...
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Two for One on The Cinema Scribe

Two for One on The Cinema Scribe

Tune in for the latest Cinema Scribe segment on Bring Me 2 Life Radio, today, February 4, at 2 pm ET, available by clicking here. And, if you don’t hear it live, catch it later on demand! ...
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‘Clemency’ pushes us to look at our personal morality

‘Clemency’ pushes us to look at our personal morality

“Clemency” (2019). Cast: Alfre Woodard, Aldis Hodge, Wendell Pierce, Richard Schiff, Richard Gunn, Michael O’Neill, Vernee Watson, Dennis Haskins, LaMonica Garrett, Danielle Brooks, Michelle C. Bonilla, Alex Castillo, Alma Martinez. Director: Chinonye Chukwu. Screenplay: Chinonye Chukwu. Web site. Trailer. Life and death matters generally give us pause to reflect upon our outlook on life, especially from a moral standpoint. But what happens when we’re conflicted? Can we sort out our feelings to come up with beliefs that lead to the right decisions about such issues? Such is the dilemma faced by a high-ranking prison official in the intense new drama, “Clemency.” Bernadine Williams (Alfre Woodard) has spent many years as the warden of a maximum security prison, and, from the way she’d probably describe herself, she’s done a damned good job at it, too. Her no-nonsense, by-the-book demeanor governs all of her actions, and she diligently maintains her steely, unflinching façade at all times. That’s true even in moments of high tension, such as the many executions of death row inmates that she has overseen. Always the professional, she never lets emotions get in the way of doing her job. But all the years of doing this work have slowly ...
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‘Les Misérables’ asks us to examine our intentions

‘Les Misérables’ asks us to examine our intentions

“Les Misérables” (2019). Cast: Damien Bonnard, Alexis Manenti, Djebril Zonga, Issa Perica, Al-Hassan Ly, Steve Tientcheu, Almamy Kanoute, Nizar Ben Fatma, Raymond Lopez, Jeanne Balibar, Fodjé Sissoko. Director: Ladj Ly. Screenplay: Ladj Ly, Giordano Gederlini and Alexis Manenti. Book: Victor Hugo, Les Misérables. Web site. Trailer. Many of us often look upon the world and wonder why it exists in the state that it does. Some elements seem so patently unfair and incapable of being made better. What’s more, the task of rectifying them is so daunting that it appears to be an impossible undertaking, one clearly beyond our abilities. However, if we make the effort to scrutinize the underlying cause of these conditions, it might not be so difficult to do after all. But that, of course, all depends on us, a message at the core of a modern-day remake of a literary classic, “Les Misérables.” In the mid-19th Century, legendary French author Victor Hugo (1802-1885) was witness to some of the most turbulent times in his nation’s history, particularly in matters of humanitarianism and social justice. His observations of the circumstances and conditions of the period, especially in the lives of the poor in communities like Montfermeil on ...
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This Week in Movies with Meaning

This Week in Movies with Meaning

Reviews of “Just Mercy” and “The Two Popes,” as well as my Oscar predictions, are all in the latest Movies with Meaning post on the web site of The Good Media Network, available by clicking here ...
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‘Just Mercy’ chronicles the quest for justice

‘Just Mercy’ chronicles the quest for justice

“Just Mercy” (2019). Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Brie Larson, Jamie Foxx, Rafe Spall, Tim Blake Nelson, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Rob Morgan, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Karan Kendrick, Michael Harding, Lindsay Ayliffe, Dominic Bogart, C.J. LeBlanc, Andrene Ward-Hammond, Rhoda Griffis. Director: Destin Daniel Cretton. Screenplay: Destin Daniel Cretton and Andrew Lanham. Book: Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy. Web site. Trailer. One would like to hope that justice is served every time a legal matter arises, but, fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately), most of us are wise enough to realize that’s not the case. That’s especially troubling in proceedings where capital punishment is concerned, given the ramifications involved. We can only hope that matters turn out as they should and that the truth is not sacrificed in the process. Such is the dicey conundrum raised in the gripping new, fact-based legal drama, “Just Mercy.” In 1986, logger Walter “Johnny D.” McMillan (Jamie Foxx) was on his way home from working in the woods near Monroeville, Alabama, when he was stopped at a roadblock and questioned by the local sheriff (Michael Harding). Perplexed at what was happening, Walter quickly learned that he was the prime suspect in the murder of Ronda Morrison, an 18-year-old dry cleaner clerk, ...
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