Tuesday, May 30, 2006

A New Kind of Mortification

Forget flagellation, says Anthony Lane, Ron Howard has given us a new means of mortification:

The Catholic Church has nothing to fear from this film. It is not just tripe. It is self-evident, spirit-lowering tripe that could not conceivably cause a single member of the flock to turn aside from the faith. Meanwhile, art historians can sleep easy once more, while fans of the book, which has finally been exposed for the pompous fraud that it is, will be shaken from their trance. In fact, the sole beneficiaries of the entire fiasco will be members of Opus Dei, some of whom practice mortification of the flesh. From now on, such penance will be simple—no lashings, no spiked cuff around the thigh. Just the price of a movie ticket, and two and a half hours of pain.

Saw it Friday, and I agree!

Read the whole New Yorker review.

Hat tip to John McGreevy at DotCommonweal.


Anonymous Chris T. said...

Wow, Ron Howard's blocking is so innovative! "First I want you to stand to her right. Now, for this scene, we'll shake it up and have you stand to her left."

Sadly, it's taking up five screens at the theater in town--there's hardly anything to watch. Thank goodness for Netflix. :-)

1:20 AM  
Blogger Susan Rose, CSJP said...

I concur as well. Saw the movie today ... the ending was quite humorous! New things to think about next time I go to the Louvre!! ;)

I wonder what IM Pei thinks?

1:40 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Reading the book--at the library, lest I subsidize (admittely woefully executed) blasphemy--was a lot of mortification. Now, when they get the DVD, I'll mortify it some more!


2:50 AM  
Blogger Claire Joy said...

Okay... I guess I'm the only one who loved the seamless special effects and thought it was a well done thriller. (I agree that the church has nothing to worry about and only curious seekers to gain.)

11:04 AM  
Blogger Mr. Clio said...


Check out this cartoon from Mike Luckovich (of the Atlanta paper, formerly of the Times-Pic):


It's basically the New Yorker review, but in an easy-to-read picture.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Mr. Clio said...

Sorry. Try again:


11:16 AM  
Blogger Mr. Clio said...

For some reason, it keeps cutting off. Add .html to end of the link I just posted, and it should work.

11:17 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

Long URLs look like they're cut off in comment boxes, but if you highlight them, you'll see they're still all there :-)

I still haven't seen the movie, and with such bad reviews, probably won't.

2:52 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

Saw it today...The most boring movie I saw in the last few years really...anyway the good part is that it made me feel sleepy.Now is 10 pm and I will go to bed in few minutes...i think that I will sleep really well.:-).

3:58 PM  
Blogger Liam said...

It is always enjoyable to read Anthony Lane from the New Yorker when he feels no need to be kind about a movie: DVC, MI3, Star Wars III: he gets very mean and is very funny.

4:59 PM  
Blogger Br Lawrence, O.P. said...

Non-existent directing and atrocious acting seemed a wasted opportunity for someone to transfer one of the more popular pulp fiction novels - which is actually quite fast-paced - to the silver screen. Very disappointing!

3:43 PM  
Blogger leonora afuyog said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:30 AM  
Blogger leonora afuyog said...

I had to entertain myself by merging old SNL Land Shark skits to many of the scenes

[ a knock at the door ]

Silas: [ appoaches the door ] Yes?

Land Shark: [ muffled voice ] Mr. Arlsbergerhh??

Silas: Who?

Land Shark: [ muffled voice ] Mr. Johnannesburrrr??

Silas: Who is it?

Land Shark: [ muffled voice ] Flowers.

Silas: Flowers? From whom?

Land Shark: [ muffled voice ] Plumber,..

Silas: I don't need a plumber. You're that clever shark, aren't you?

Land Shark: [ muffled voice ] Candygram.

Silas: Candygram, my foot! Get out of here before I call the proper authorities. You're the shark, and you know it.

Land Shark: [ muffled voice ] I'm only a dolphin, ..

Silas: A dolphin? Well.. okay..

12:36 AM  

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