Let England Shake

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Article Reviews
Let England Shake
P.  J. Harvey (Vagrant Records, 2011)

England’s reputation as an island of eccentrics is longstanding, and for the past two decades P. J. Harvey has done her bit to uphold it. Polly Jean comes by it naturally, having been raised on a sheep farm by hippie artist parents who exposed her to the weirdest man in rock and roll, Harvey’s childhood hero, Captain Beefheart. She emerged in the early ’90s, displaying a gift for bizarre hairdos and costumes, a constantly re-invented musical style, and—to me—utterly inscrutable lyrics.


Of God and men

By Catherine O'Connell-Cahill| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Reviews
Of Gods and Men
Directed by Xavier Beauvois (Why Not Productions, 2011)

While accepting an award for his film, the French director of “Of Gods and Men” said, “I don't want people to say bad things about Muslims in [France’s] upcoming electoral campaign. I want us to be together with them—that's the lesson of this film.”


On the Threshold of Transformation: Daily Meditations for Men

By Alfred J. Garrotto| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Reviews
On the Threshold of Transformation: Daily Meditations for Men by Father Richard Rohr (Loyola Press, 2010)

Think and Act Anew

By Kathy McGourty| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Reviews
Think and Act Anew
By Father Larry Snyder (Orbis, 2010)

“If you give a man a fish you feed him for a day,” goes the old saying, “but if you teach him to fish you feed him for a lifetime.” Father Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities U.S.A., knows firsthand the truth of that saying, and his insight and experience dealing with poverty and social justice offer much to his book, subtitled How Poverty in America Affects Us All and What We Can Do About It. For his reader it is a “fishing pole” of information and action.


Oscar buzz: Catholic movie reviews

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Article Reviews

Hollywood celebrates the best in film from the past year with the Academy Awards show this weekend. What were your favorite movies of the year?

Share your picks, read our reviews, and even submit your own reviews of movies we haven’t written about yet. You can also review books, music, and other media.

U.S. Catholic reviews of the best picture Oscar nominees:


Cutthroat choreography: A review of Black Swan

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Article Reviews
What do gangsters and ballerinas have in common? A deadly drive, according to the latest dance thriller Black Swan.

Black Swan is a movie about the ballet in the same way The Godfather is a film about the family business. Like Francis Ford Coppola’s tragic tale of Michael Corleone’s descent into slaughter, Darren Aronofsky’s seemingly arthouse film about ballet is a movie about what drives the American family business—ambition—and about the biblical costs we pay in pursuit of dreams of success.


The Fighter

By Patrick McCormick| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Reviews
The Fighter
Directed by David O. Russell (Paramount, 2010)

 

Boxing films are invariably tales of lion-hearted toughs from the wrong side of the tracks overcoming insuperable odds. But great fight movies are more than David-slays-Goliath epics. Alongside the slugfest in the ring, these films track another, more personal, battle.


City of refuge

By Danny Duncan Collum| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Reviews
City of Refuge
Abigail Washburn (Rounder Records, 2011)

The banjo is the most American of instruments, arriving with the slaves from West Africa but quickly adopted by their poor white neighbors. By the mid-20th century, it had become a totem of rural American culture and an engine of the Nashville sound. But on Abigail Washburn’s City of Refuge, her banjo, played in the pre-Nashville clawhammer style, plucks and clucks along in company with the guzheng (a Chinese zither) and some old-time Mongolian throat-singing.


The Sacraments We Celebrate

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The Sacraments We Celebrate: A Catholic Guide to the Seven Mysteries of Faith by Msgr. Peter J. Vaghi (Ave Maria Press, 2010)

How the West wasn’t: A review of True Grit

By Patrick McCormick| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Reviews
It may take true grit to avenge a murder, but the gritty truth is that revenge only works in the movies.

I grew up watching Westerns like other boomers, so when critics praised Joel and Ethan Coen’s remake of True Grit as a splendid classic Western à la John Ford, I decided to treat myself to the guilty pleasure of an old-fashioned sagebrush saga.


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