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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Hounddog

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Atmospheric, well-acted, but overwrought and ultimately pointless melodrama set in 1950s Alabama about a lonely little girl (Dakota Fanning) with an Elvis Presley fixation, her mentally impaired father (David Morse), his estranged girlfriend (Robin Wright Penn), and religious zealot grandmother (Piper Laurie). Director Deborah Kampmeier gets high marks for settting the mood, but the backwoods Southern gothic story—replete with snakes both real and symbolic, a kindly wise black neighbor (Afemo Omilami), and oh-so-cathartic blues—fails to convince even in this allegorical context. A brief, nongraphic, underage rape, some sexual talk and a brief nongraphic adult encounter, nonsexual rear male nudity, underage drinking and a moderately jaundiced view of religion. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is O—morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R—restricted; under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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Joachim and Anne: In the Scriptures, Matthew and Luke furnish a legal family history of Jesus, tracing ancestry to show that Jesus is the culmination of great promises. Not only is his mother’s family neglected, we also know nothing factual about them except that they existed. Even the names <i>Joachim</i> and <i>Anne</i> come from a legendary source written more than a century after Jesus died. 
<p>The heroism and holiness of these people, however, is inferred from the whole family atmosphere around Mary in the Scriptures. Whether we rely on the legends about Mary’s childhood or make guesses from the information in the Bible, we see in her a fulfillment of many generations of prayerful persons, herself steeped in the religious traditions of her people. </p><p>The strong character of Mary in making decisions, her continuous practice of prayer, her devotion to the laws of her faith, her steadiness at moments of crisis, and her devotion to her relatives—all indicate a close-knit, loving family that looked forward to the next generation even while retaining the best of the past. </p><p>Joachim and Anne—whether these are their real names or not—represent that entire quiet series of generations who faithfully perform their duties, practice their faith and establish an atmosphere for the coming of the Messiah, but remain obscure.</p> American Catholic Blog Don’t pretend to be a saint—intend to be one. Bend your knees but never your morals.

 
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