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Philomena


Peter T Chattaway
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I have followed Steve Coogan's career for many many years. I was one of the very few who ventured to see The Trip in the theater, when most people never heard of it, and I was severely limited in actually going to the theater. I'm also a fan of Judi Dench's past work (Mrs Brown is a seminal film in my wife's and my relationship). And Frears' High Fidelity is one of my favorite movies of that year.

So understand me when I say this. None of my past appreciation of their works matter, on a personal level. They don't know me from Adam. They worked hard and got to a level of success in the film world that they can afford ruffling a few feathers.

Truth is, why is it such a big deal when they get their feelings hurt (which I disagree with--you can not ever know why somebody doesn't treat some Christians w respect) but not the same when the positions are reversed?

Why do some people dislike Christianity? Maybe hurt has got nothing to do with it. Maybe they like sex before marriage. Maybe they like to sleep in Sunday mornings. Maybe they think Christianity is filled with illogical (but otherwise nice people).

No wonder Philomena made an impression. She does not challenge them on their level. She cannot, that's not her talent (and that's okay, to a point). There's no real tete y tete going on here.

The Broadway musical Book of Mormon does the exact same thing. After poking holes throughout all of Mormon history (deservedly so), it has you root for their protagonists anyway, coz they're just so gosh darn nice.

And I reject this logic. To engage this level of logic is what is needed, but Coogan doesn't know who I am. You haven't provided how an individual can correct Coogan on his overreach and ultimately unfair portrayal of a tragic story. It is not enough to say that Philomena has an inner resolve, so long as her quirky foibles prove no match for how Coogan sees reality.

Nick Alexander

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Well, this is all sorts of awesome.

 

Pope Francis meets with Philomena Lee and Steve Coogan.

 

This is totally unprecedented, imo.

Nick Alexander

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Thanks for responding so thoughtfully Nick.

 

 

Here's a couple of responses.

 

You had said:

 

:Truth is, why is it such a big deal when they get their feelings hurt (which I disagree with--you can not ever know why somebody doesn't treat some Christians w respect) but not the same when the positions are reversed?

 

 

Because we are called to a different path.  Also.  We ought to remember that they are lost and without God's help and guidance.  But also healing.  We ought to always look for opportunities to reach out and connect.

 

It's not that its not a big deal when our feelings are hurt, but we have an ever present healer.

 

 

:Why do some people dislike Christianity? Maybe hurt has got nothing to do with it. Maybe they like sex before marriage. Maybe they like to sleep in Sunday mornings. Maybe they think Christianity is filled with illogical (but otherwise nice people). 

 

 

I have no problem with the idea that some people dislike Christianity for these kinds of reasons.  But would these people be making art that is bitter, or our of bitterness?  Wouldn't that bitterness only come from hurts?  Anybody I've ever met who rejects Christianity for those reasons is mostly indifferent to it.

 

Also.  There are an awful lot of Christian beliefs out there that don't do to well in the logic department.  Not all of them of course, but there are enough for me to conclude that saying that Christians are nice but illogical isn't completely unfounded.  Actually there are some Christians who are illogical but also not all that nice.

 

Of course.  Every person on this planet has some places where their logic isn't quite up to snuff.

 

 

:No wonder Philomena made an impression. She does not challenge them on their level. She cannot, that's not her talent (and that's okay, to a point). There's no real tete y tete going on here. 

 

 

I don't know if this film was made to challenge intellectuals.  I don't think that's its point.  I wonder if that would be another example of how intellectuals would be missing the point of this film.  It's a human story about an atheist from upper class England who wants to be a sophisticated history writer, who goes on a journey with a fairly unsophisticated old Irish Catholic lady, and, actually learns and grows because of her.

 

It's not about how intellectual Christians are.  It's about the journey of these two peope, who end up making a connection and becoming friends of a sort.

 

 

 

:And I reject this logic. To engage this level of logic is what is needed, but Coogan doesn't know who I am. 

 

 

One engages the logic by responding graciously and building bridges.  That's how people work.  If you build a bridge you can have a conversation and they might here your point.  But also, you might here their point.  If you burn a bridge... well you've burnt a bridge.

 

There are too many chasms between people, subcultures, and cultures right now.  It's not good for anybody.  Note.  I'm not saying that we should believe everything others believe, or that we shouldn't protect ourselves to some degree from that which might hurt us.  But.  Surely we can have a conversation with people about this things without being so quick to be offended.  That seems to me to be more thought through, holistic, and non-idiotic way to respond.  

 

If one pays attention to what many of these folks are saying, I think that they would view it that way as well, and appreciate that kind of response.  Actually, at least in regards to many of them, I'm near certain of it.

 

 

 

:You haven't provided how an individual can correct Coogan on his overreach and ultimately unfair portrayal of a tragic story.

 

 

I don't know whether or not his portrayal is unfair.  Also.  What I'm talking about here isn't just in regards to connecting with the filmmakers, its in regard to connecting with people at large, outside of Christianity.  This and other films, art, music, etc.  can be a vehicle that would help us to do so.  But too often, they are used as artifacts in the "culture wars" of us vs. them.  It would be nice if we spent more time paying attention to what people are saying through some of these works and why.  I'm not saying that every piece of art is worth considering in this regard.  But some of them are, and many Christians are turning a blind eye to what some people are crying out.  I'm not a big fan of this.

 

 

:It is not enough to say that Philomena has an inner resolve, so long as her quirky foibles prove no match for how Coogan sees reality. 

 

 

She has more than an inner resolve.  She had shown moments that declare that she saw through him more than she had been declaring.  She had moments of true wisdom.  Also.  Since when does this film have to be a "match" between Coogan and Philomena.  Again.  The film isn't about some matchup between a Christian and an atheist.  It's about a mothers love for her child recognized in the journey of two very different people.  That with religious aspects including, of course, the injustice against Philomena.  The Christian represents something that frustrates the atheist, sure.  But the film never says that the Christian is wrong, in fact it shows that the atheist has his own set of issues and foolishness.  It also shows that atheist learning from the Christian and coming to a place of respect for the Christian.  Also.  As I've already mentioned.  It clearly shows the Christian turn the finger and point it at the atheist, and this in a manner that showed keen insight and wisdom.

 

Also.  We can't forget that near the start of the film we see Philomena with her daughter.  Who is portrayed as being pretty together and developed as a human being.  In other words, Philomena may be quirky, but she was also a fine mom who has raised up a good and healthy family.  She's not this blathering idiot that some are making her out to be.  She was also shown to have a sense of inner dignity.

 

 

This is a film about a person who has issues with Christianity, who comes across something that happened in a monastery that essentially proves his point (to him), but then in this, he ends up on a journey with the person who was actually hurt by what happened in this monastery and she ends up showing him another side of the coin.  She turns what happened back on him and points out that he has his own set of issues.  She lives a life that belies what he thinks has been proven to him through the monastery incident.

 

All of this being interwoven with gender, class, age, and cultural issues.

 

So.  I think your taking offense at something that the film never actually even intended to be offensive.  That wasn't what the film was about.

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Well, this is all sorts of awesome.

 

Pope Francis meets with Philomena Lee and Steve Coogan.

 

This is totally unprecedented, imo.

 

 

You had posted this while I was typing my last response.  This fits just fine with what I've been saying about using the film as a vehicle to build a bridge, as well as shining a light into darkness.  I'm glad to see this.

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As for the (potential) errors in the film, both the WSJ and GetReligion articles in this thread get to the inaccuracies.  I'm too lazy to rehash them here.

 

That said, I'm still uncertain as to how this film can be a bridge.  Bridge to whom? 

 

The Pope's actions, certainly, but that's a bridge of one. 

 

The actions of the religious sisters?  Those services have all since been closed down, the last one for nearly two decades. 

 

Can a person who rejects the church on non-bitter grounds still craft a bitter movie?  Certainly.  You'd have to have strong comic sensibilities, which Coogan has in spades.

 

A bridge to others?  The film has racked up less than 3 million at the box office.  Oddsmakers gave it a 50:1 shot to win Best Picture.  Most people whom I associate with have never heard of the film (that's the corners I work in). 

 

"Hey! Let me tell you about this critically acclaimed movie that was Weinstein-nom'd for Best Picture, that you've never seen! ... About a situation that doesn't exist anymore... That affects us, not a whit!... That paints an entire religious denomination (of whom some of us subscribe to), negatively-yet-mayyyyyyybe positively (that is, if you care for subtlety and stuff)... well, at least the popcorn's good...."

 

It's still early, but most of the sites I've shared this news of the pope have not responded with anything, positive or negative.  (Who's Philomena Lee?  Who's Steve Coogan?)  It's almost like creating a cure for a disease that doesn't exist...

Nick Alexander

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It's not about this film specifically as much as its about a stance towards the arts and what those outside of the church are saying in general.  It's about a posture of how we relate and interact.  It's about our mindsets and our hearts.

 

These things can be a bridge to anyone, anywhere.  Just Christianity's general response to these things can build bridges, as opposed to a response that so often alienates, burns bridges and generally makes things worse.

 

 

 

Also.  Did you read that full article?  I mean the link at the end where Philomena Lee herself defends the film.

 

 

"Responding specifically to a review in the New York Post that called the film "hateful and boring", the letter published by Deadline replied directly to the Post's critic, Kyle Smith. "Your review of the movie paints its story as being a condemnation of Catholicism and conservative views. It states that the relationship depicted between Mr Martin Sixsmith and myself comes across as contrived and trite, and funny for all the wrong reasons. Forgive me for saying so, Kyle, but you are incorrect."

 

" "The story it tells has resonated with people not because it's some mockery of ideas or institutions that they're in disagreement with. This is not a rally cry against the church or politics. In fact, despite some of the troubles that befell me as a young girl, I have always maintained a very strong hold on my faith."

 

 

 

So.  Again.  I don't think some of you folks are seeing this film clearly, and I wonder if this is coming from a certain view of how we should relate to what some of these artists are saying, as well as a certain misunderstanding of how they can and do communicate their views and concerns?  It's not always as much of an attack as Christian's sometimes think it is, and even when it is and attack it isn't always unfounded.  And also.  Even when it is an unfounded attack the gracious bridge building response is almost always the best way to bring light into darkness and to show unconditional love.  It disarms them and takes away their sting.  It shows that we have something true and have a better way.

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Just a quick answer... yes I read Philomena Lee's response, and yet Kyle Smith had a follow up post to her, to which she did not yet respond.  Also in this thread, several pages back. 

 

ETA: There's a 66 2/3% chance that most people on this forum, by definition, are all for engaging the art, watching R rated movies, and showing kindness to provocative works where others may be offended.  (Breaking the Waves, anyone?).  

 

So, when there's an outcry from a well-informed atheist that the movie may indeed have an anti-religious agenda, I perk up.  I'm not saying Kyle Smith is right; I'm hoping that he's not.  I think it is an extremely subtle issue that can very well go both ways.  Victor saw it in a theater that applauded when Coogan F-bombed my denomination.  Perhaps in the private confines of one's Netflix streaming account one can have a different reaction.

 

But that said, if a Christian is offended, then that offense needs to be made known.  If others can very well be offended by a particular scene (like how I was offended by Celine/Julie's behavior in parts of Before Midnight), then it is an act of charity to let others know of that ahead-of-time.

 

I will say that if the Magdalene Laundries were still open, then Philomena the movie would be on my must-see list.  Being that there are hundreds of other causes out there well worth cinematic treatment, I can't help but wonder why the filmmakers keep making movies about issues that simply don't apply.

Edited by Nick Alexander

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"I can't help but wonder why the filmmakers keep making movies about issues that simply don't apply."

 

I don't wonder at all. Not at all.

Yeah ... well ... I'm gonna have to go ahead and disagree with you there on that one.

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"I can't help but wonder why the filmmakers keep making movies about issues that simply don't apply."

 

I don't wonder at all. Not at all.

A culture of secrecy and cover-up is still very much alive and well in the Catholic hierarchy. Critiques of it are still most relevant.

(Said the Catholic deflector shield.)

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

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"I can't help but wonder why the filmmakers keep making movies about issues that simply don't apply."

 

I don't wonder at all. Not at all.

A culture of secrecy and cover-up is still very much alive and well in the Catholic hierarchy. Critiques of it are still most relevant.

(Said the Catholic deflector shield.)

 

CINO!!!!! .... who in the hell confirmed you?!?!?

 

OK ... seriously ... sure, that culture still exists to a significant extent. That doesn't mean Coogan/Pope/Frears/Harvborg don't have the reasons they do for wanting to make movies about a 60-year-old practice that (in its specifics at least) is gone.

 

To bring this back to the details of the film and its manifest and manifold failings ... a "culture of secrecy" was how ALL adoptions from that period were done, whether by the Catholic Church in Ireland or elsewhere, other churches in other countries, or secular state agencies. The belief was that, if an adoption is necessary, it's best for the child and the position of the adoptive parents that a clean break be made. Unlike in matters related to shuffling Father Perv from Blessed Sacrament to St. So-and-So after a month in "rehab" and a non-disclosure deal with the victim and appropriate "assurances," I happen to think that in matters of adoption, a "culture of secrecy" is a good thing. But the film not only (1) takes that culture and thus any relevance to The Situation or similar things today as an unqualified bad (because of today's perverse love of disclosure, which is really the vice of gossip), but it (2) lies about the time by blaming the Church.

Edited by vjmorton

Yeah ... well ... I'm gonna have to go ahead and disagree with you there on that one.

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Nick Alexander wrote:
: Victor saw it in a theater that applauded when Coogan F-bombed my denomination.

 

FWIW, there was no particular reaction when that scene came in my own theatre. (I saw the film at least a couple months after its release date.)

 

Speaking of the so-called "f-bombs" (gawd, I hate that term), I was amused to see that there were at least two "feckings" in addition to the two f-words that caused the MPAA such distress.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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A culture of secrecy and cover-up is still very much alive and well in the Catholic hierarchy. Critiques of it are still most relevant.

(Said the Catholic deflector shield.)

 

 

As long as Catholics have the confessional, there will always be secrets in the Catholic hierarchy. 

Nick Alexander

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A culture of secrecy and cover-up is still very much alive and well in the Catholic hierarchy. Critiques of it are still most relevant.

(Said the Catholic deflector shield.)

 

 

As long as Catholics have the confessional, there will always be secrets in the Catholic hierarchy. 

 

 

Boo. 

 

For a clear, informed, articulate defense of the point of view I am putting forward, see the excellent Nothing to Hide: Secrecy, Communication, and Communion in the Catholic Church by Russell Shaw, former communications director for the USCCB (which means the man knows something about his topic). 

CINO!!!!! .... who in the hell confirmed you?!?!?

That joke gets funnier every time. smile.png

 

OK ... seriously ... sure, that culture still exists to a significant extent. That doesn't mean Coogan/Pope/Frears/Harvborg don't have the reasons they do for wanting to make movies about a 60-year-old practice that (in its specifics at least) is gone.

I don't really care what their motives are. Also, if it's true that the convent continued to keep Philomena and her son from connecting far more recently, then the "60-year-old practice" thing loses quite a bit of oomph. (Big "if," I know.)

Edited by SDG

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

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A culture of secrecy and cover-up is still very much alive and well in the Catholic hierarchy. Critiques of it are still most relevant.

(Said the Catholic deflector shield.)

 

 

As long as Catholics have the confessional, there will always be secrets in the Catholic hierarchy. 

 

Then the Catholic Church is just another man made institution we can never truly trust.

"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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A culture of secrecy and cover-up is still very much alive and well in the Catholic hierarchy. Critiques of it are still most relevant.

As long as Catholics have the confessional, there will always be secrets in the Catholic hierarchy.

 

Boo. 

 

For a clear, informed, articulate defense of the point of view I am putting forward, see the excellent Nothing to Hide: Secrecy, Communication, and Communion in the Catholic Church by Russell Shaw, former communications director for the USCCB (which means the man knows something about his topic). 

 

Thanks.  I have a sample sent to my Kindle.  I will check it out. 

 

BTW, I believe in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and fully endorse the secrecy of the Sacrament.  My sting comment was not to downplay it, but to demonstrate that I didn't think total transparency is possible in any major administration (ask the President), but much less so for those who have the Sacrament of Reconciliation. 

 

But since SDG is talking of something different, I will defer to Russell Shaw, whom I have read before and like.

ETA: I would gladly fork over $15.00 to see a movie based on Russell Shaw's treatise, not one based upon an incident that happened 60 years ago and closed up shop decades prior to today.

Edited by Nick Alexander

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Nick Alexander said:

 

:But that said, if a Christian is offended, then that offense needs to be made known.  If others can very well be offended by a particular scene (like how I was offended by Celine/Julie's behavior in parts of Before Midnight), then it is an act of charity to let others know of that ahead-of-time.

 

 

I guess I'm rarely offended.  Often I see that they have a point that is worth considering, or else I feel sad that some people have bought into so many lies and are perpetuating them.  Sometimes its a mixture of both.  I suppose I don't even understand what point there would be in being offended by some of these things.  I mean, what good end it would serve.  It just seems to me that taking on an offense could hamper us from blessing those who persecute us (as we are told to do.)

 

 

:  Being that there are hundreds of other causes out there well worth cinematic treatment, I can't help but wonder why the filmmakers keep making movies about issues that simply don't apply.

 
 
Well.  Getting any kind of movie funded and made is very, very hard.  Many films take years to get off the ground and get made.  So, by the time the filmmaker gets wind of the story and then gets the film released......   As well.  A more timely story doesn't necessarily have a proven audience yet and might be too controversial being so close to the facts, which could make film suits leary of throwing money towards it.  There's other various factors.
 
Also, many film's like this are made from books that were written, released, and gained popularity after the main facts.  
 
As well.  I'm not sure when a cause would lose its value.  If it has something to say about society or the world we live in, or about an injustice that hasn't been righted, then I can't see why it wouldn't have value.  Also.  This story certainly seems to have become relevant now, I mean if its gaining the ear of the Catholic Church's Pope.  Also.  Possibly from a British or Irish perspective this story is extremely relevant.
 
 
 
 
Peter T Chattaway said:
 
 
:FWIW, there was no particular reaction when that scene came in my own theatre. (I saw the film at least a couple months after its release date.)
 
 
 
There was no jeering towards anything from anybody in our theatre.  I saw it a few weeks ago.  
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"Total transparency" is an unworkable ideal. But one can be secretive by default or transparent by default. One can regard transparency as an ideal to be pursued whenever possible, or one can regard secrecy as an ideal to be preserved wherever possible.

 

I think transparent by default is healthier, but few institutions run that way, alas. 
 

Then the Catholic Church is just another man made institution we can never truly trust.


Whoa. Lost me there.


Peter T Chattaway said:
 
:FWIW, there was no particular reaction when that scene came in my own theatre. (I saw the film at least a couple months after its release date.)
 
There was no jeering towards anything from anybody in our theatre.

 
Same here.

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I guess I'm rarely offended.  Often I see that they have a point that is worth considering, or else I feel sad that some people have bought into so many lies and are perpetuating them.  Sometimes its a mixture of both.  I suppose I don't even understand what point there would be in being offended by some of these things.  I mean, what good end it would serve.  It just seems to me that taking on an offense could hamper us from blessing those who persecute us (as we are told to do.)

If I knew the filmmakers/screenwriters personally, where they would be privy to my opinions on the offensive scenes in question, I would agree to your point. If the vast majority of friends of mine--all of them--were personal victims of the Magdalene Sisters/adoption racket, or closeted homosexuals who felt like their political party let them down, I would agree to your point. But the vast majority of those in my circles have not even heard of this film. Heck. Most of them had never even heard of Philip Seymour Hoffman.

People do not willingly take offense. They have offensive stuff happen to them. Since the medium of the film is so distant between the film's creators and its audience, it is a one-way conversation, through and through. Like, dislike, I'm just a statistic, a number, to the filmmakers, desiring to make good on their investment. Under such circumstances, it's nigh impossible to ENGAGE the filmmakers, to get to their point, and to dialogue back. Had this been in a medium where there is a two-way conversation (like a reddit AMA maybe), and there could be a later director's cut which makes alterations based upon the conversation at hand, then maybe I can cater your point. But this does not happen, ever, (with the sole possible exception that you are helming a Samuel L Jackson summer actioner about nasty critters on a plane).

 

Peter T Chattaway said: :FWIW, there was no particular reaction when that scene came in my own theatre. (I saw the film at least a couple months after its release date.)

There was no jeering towards anything from anybody in our theatre.

Same here.

 

Thus, the true litmus test. If people in the critic's audience applauded that line, one is most likely meant to take Philomena as a hit piece. If people didn't, then one is most likely meant to take Philomena as more nuanced.

 

#LetThereBePeaceOnEarth

#LetItBeginWithMe.

Edited by Nick Alexander

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I don't quite understand this "leave the past as the past" attitude you've got, Nick. The Church is historical--something Catholicism knows better than many Christian traditions--and it must constantly reckon with its own history.

 

Must it constantly reckon with its own history, or just reckon with its own history?  Should Catholics of today be slammed for something that happened before they were born, in a country not their own?

 

Reminds me of this recent Saturday Night Live sketch:

28 Reasons to Hug a Black Man Today

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Thus, the true litmus test. If people in the critic's audience applauded that line, one is most likely meant to take Philomena as a hit piece. If people didn't, then one is most likely meant to take Philomena as more nuanced.

 

If one is only "most likely to," then it's not "the true litmus test," is it? wink.png

 

More substantially, I've been known to take exception to reactions from my screening audience. So, no, I don't think I regard my audience's non-jeering as determinative.

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Nick Alexander wrote:
: . . . not one based upon an incident that happened 60 years ago and closed up shop decades prior to today.

 

Well, as SDG noted, the film depicts the Irish Catholic institutions in question stonewalling much more recently than that. Although it does kind of pin all the blame for that on a single nun (who, in real life, may or may not have been alive when some of that stonewalling took place). So you could interpret that in a number of ways. (And certainly, whatever a Catholic orphanage did 10 or 20 years ago needn't reflect on Catholics in other parts of the world.)

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Nick Alexander said

 

:Thus, the true litmus test. If people in the critic's audience applauded that line, one is most likely meant to take Philomena as a hit piece. If people didn't, then one is most likely meant to take Philomena as more nuanced.

 

 

 

I'd point to the ongoing conversation that's happening over at the Martyrs thread right now.  People sometimes misunderstand the film, and it's sometimes connected to their level of maturity or ignorance etc.

 

 

I've seen something similar with my own films.  With the one that I'm releasing shortly, I played it for a fellow who was chuckling through what was supposed to be a sad part.  To which I thought... Oh oh, I've done something wrong.  But then later, I played it to another fellow who said that it brought a tear to his eye.

 

Years ago my first film played at a theatre with resulting gales of laughter, to which I was walking around with a big head for two weeks.  Then it played at a film festival whereby a cute girl sitting near me leaned over to her friend and said "that was painful."  Bummer.

 

But the point being.  How a crowd reacts to a film doesn't necessarily reflect on the film itself.

 

Also.  If Philomena Lee herself is defending the film then that would surely indicate that she doesn't think the film portrays her all that negatively.  Shouldn't that make a difference as to whether or not your offended by her portrayal?

 

I guess I still don't understand.

 

 

 

:Must it constantly reckon with its own history, or just reckon with its own history?  Should Catholics of today be slammed for something that happened before they were born, in a country not their own?

 

 

Should Germans of today be slammed for the Nazi's of WW2?   Should the Russians of today be slammed for communism?  Should the Europeans of today be slammed for the negative impacts of colonization?  Should the Islam's of today be slammed for some people's terrorist acitivity?  Should the people of the Southern States be slammed for slavery?  Should the Vietnamese be slammed for killing American soldiers?  Should the American gov. be slammed for sending the soldiers there?  

 

See what I'm saying.  The list goes on and on.  The Catholic Church is a huge entitiy, and that means that it is full of stories to tell.  Also.  And this is important.  A great many Hollywood films have had RC elements in them to help portray the goodness of characters, of their clean and upright living.  These are elements in film that are often used to quickly portray secondary characters.  

 

How often have we seen gay characters used this way in film?  Or Islam characters?  Or aboriginal characters?

 

 

Also.  When it comes to a country not their own?  Ireland is one of the most Catholic countries in Europe.

 

But also.  Why would you think that this film is slamming you?  There's what, 1 billion Catholics living in the world right now.  So that would be kind of like me saying that a film about slavery in the Southern States is slamming me because I'm a white Canadian.

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If Philomena Lee herself is defending the film then that would surely indicate that she doesn't think the film portrays her all that negatively.  Shouldn't that make a difference as to whether or not your offended by her portrayal?

 

I cannot speak for Philomena herself. But it is possible for a non-celebrity to be whisked into the public sphere because of a series of unforeseen circumstances, and being enamored with it all. And what the detractors are saying, is that she cannot see objectively as to how she is portrayed; she may be more in awe that she is portrayed at all, by the great Judy Dench, than the fact that there are moments where she comes across as the "fool."

But she got to meet the Pope. And she'll probably go to the Oscars. So good for her.

 

Why would you think that this film is slamming you?

Two words, spoken by a lead character, one of them vulgar, discussed here earlier, that gathered some applause in some viewing circles.

Now... would that line be as effective had he added the terms "Magdalene Sisters" inbetween those two words? Maybe yes, maybe no. But I might have said it alongside him.

Edited by Nick Alexander

Nick Alexander

Keynote, Worship Leader, Comedian, Parodyist

Host of the Prayer Meeting Podcast - your virtual worship oasis. (Subscribe)

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But also.  Coogan went to the Vatican with her (which granted doesn't make him pro-Catholic), so that surely shows that he has some sort of respect and friendship with her and thus isn't trying to pull the wool over her eyes when it comes to her portrayal in the film.  This idea doesn't line up.

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