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Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street


Source: Catholic News Service

Bloody but artful screen version of Stephen Sondheim's Broadway musical (and now a staple of opera houses) recounting the Victorian legend of the crazed barber (an intense Johnny Depp, singing surprisingly well) determined to exact revenge on the lecherous judge (Alan Rickman) who robbed him of his wife and daughter years before. He sets up his business over the shop of a shady baker (Helena Bonham Carter), who minces his victims into her pies. The songs notwithstanding, this is familiar territory for director Tim Burton, who has an affinity for the Grand Guignol aspects of the story, and creates an atmosphere of great tension, but the streams of blood, however stylized, and basic premise will be a turnoff for many. Brief but grisly bloodlettings and grinding of flesh, implied cannibalism, a couple of uses of the s-word, brief irreverence in lyrics and underage drinking. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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Catherine of Alexandria: According to the <i>Legend of St. Catherine</i>, this young woman converted to Christianity after receiving a vision. At the age of 18, she debated 50 pagan philosophers. Amazed at her wisdom and debating skills, they became Christians—as did about 200 soldiers and members of the emperor’s family. All of them were martyred. 
<p>Sentenced to be executed on a spiked wheel, Catherine touched the wheel and it shattered. She was beheaded. Centuries later, angels are said to have carried the body of St. Catherine to a monastery at the foot of Mt. Sinai. </p><p>Devotion to her spread as a result of the Crusades. She was invoked as the patroness of students, teachers, librarians and lawyers. Catherine is one of the 14 Holy Helpers, venerated especially in Germany and Hungary.</p> American Catholic Blog We exist because God is infinitely beautiful, infinitely good, and overflowing with a love that seeks to share itself. When he made us and placed us in this glittering created world, it was an act of pure generosity.

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