And the Nominees Are . . . Joker

Posted by Chris Siemann on Feb 4, 2020 4:53:30 PM

Editorial Note: This review contains spoilers.

As I approached my viewing of Joker, I knew that it was bound to be a unique and divisive experience. One need only glance at Rotten Tomatoes to see that this film drew reactions on all sides of the critical spectrum: one top critic called it “brilliant and unforgettable;” another “bleak and juvenile.” 

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Topics: Culture, Academy Awards, Best Picture nominees, Oscars, Joker, truth

And the Nominees Are . . . Marriage Story

Posted by Anna Keating on Feb 3, 2020 8:30:00 PM

Editorial Note: The following is an excerpt from an essay entitled A Story of Divorce as Self-Realization originally published by Church Life Journal on January 13, 2020. This review contains spoilers.

I cannot stop thinking about Noah Baumbach’s film, Marriage Story, starring Adam Driver as Charlie, and Scarlett Johansson as his soon to be ex-wife Nichole. Real marriages, marriages of equals that have lasted more than a handful of years, not sitcom marriages played for laughs, are rarely given this much attention on the silver screen. It is perhaps difficult to capture the little moments that make up a shared life, but Baumbach captures them beautifully. Here is Nichole cutting Charlie’s hair. Here is Charlie cooking her dinner, or opening up the blankets so their son, Henry, can be comforted after a bad dream.

In a country where a million people file for divorce every year there are surprisingly few films about it in which neither partner gets turned into a cartoon villain or quickly written out of the script. In Marriage Story there are no villains, just two very imperfect humans struggling to find their “aliveness” and a sense of worth. . . . 

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Topics: Culture, Academy Awards, divorce, Best Picture nominees, marriage, Oscars, Marriage Story

And the Nominees Are . . .

Posted by Carolyn Pirtle on Feb 3, 2020 7:49:17 PM

This week, the McGrath Institute Blog is going to the movies, in anticipation of the 92nd Annual Academy Awards, which will air this Sunday, February 9. Interest in awards ceremonies, especially the Oscars, has waned in recent years, as indicated by the downward trend in the ratings. Hollywood politics impact which films and film-makers are nominated and which ones are snubbed, professional critics and filmgoers alike rightly point out the lack of diverse representation of women and people of color among the nominees, and for a Christian, the general culture surrounding film-making in Hollywood is deeply problematic. 

So why bring to light what so often dwells in darkness?

Because millions of people still turn to movies for deeply human stories told in compelling ways, stories that—despite their often problematic origins—largely focus on Christian themes like good vs. evil, the search for redemption, the need for conversion, and the transforming power of self-giving love. 

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Topics: Culture, Academy Awards, Best Picture nominees, Oscars

Our Most Read Posts of 2019

Posted by The Editors on Jan 13, 2020 6:11:20 PM

Monday, January 13 marks the one-year anniversary of the launch of the McGrath Institute Blog. Over the past year we have published articles meant to help our readers live and hand on the Catholic faith, especially in the family home and parish. Our writers have shared their personal experiences of faith, provided suggestions for how to deepen one's prayer life, recommended spiritually enriching books, and more. Featured below are the ten most popular posts we published over the past year. Thank you to each one of our readers for following along with us this year and allowing us to share in your journey of faith. 

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Topics: Culture, evangelization, traditions, ministry

Multicultural Posadas: Embracing a Culture of Encounter

Posted by Sadie Yates on Dec 5, 2019 7:11:00 AM

Pope Francis has spoken extensively of a “throwaway culture” in which items, creation, even human beings are deemed unnecessary or inconvenient, then tossed aside. The antidote? A “culture of encounter,” where we do not merely look at others, but we see them; we do not simply hear them, but we listen to them. Every member of the Church is called to minister to the Body of Christ in this way.

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Topics: Culture, multiculturalism, Advent, Las Posadas, multicultural ministry

Living and Handing on the Faith

The McGrath Institute Blog helps Catholics live and hand on their faith in Jesus Christ, especially in the family, home and parish, and cultivates and inspires everyday leaders to live out the fullness and richness of their faith in the simple, little ways that make up Church life.

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