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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Notes on a Scandal

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Lurid but skillful melodrama set in England about a lonely history teacher (Judi Dench) whose unhealthy interest in an attractive younger art teacher (Cate Blanchett) leads her to help conceal the latter's reprehensible affair with a determined 15-year-old student (Andrew Simpson) in the hope of fostering the woman's dependence on her. Richard Eyre directs playwright Patrick Marber's adaptation of Zoe Heller's award-winning book with Hitchcockian flair, while taking care not to glamorize the seamier plot elements. Though Dench is a manipulative villain, she skillfully delineates her character's sense of isolation. The themes may rule out the film for many, but for those who approach the plot as the astute psychological thriller it is, they'll appreciate two actresses at the top of their game. Some rough, crude and profane language, domestic violence, adulterous affair with underage boy including some kissing, innuendo and obsession. 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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All Saints: The earliest certain observance of a feast in honor of all the saints is an early fourth-century commemoration of "all the martyrs." In the early seventh century, after successive waves of invaders plundered the catacombs, Pope Boniface IV gathered up some 28 wagonloads of bones and reinterred them beneath the Pantheon, a Roman temple dedicated to all the gods. The pope rededicated the shrine as a Christian church. According to Venerable Bede, the pope intended "that the memory of all the saints might in the future be honored in the place which had formerly been dedicated to the worship not of gods but of demons" (<i>On the Calculation of Time</i>). 
<p>But the rededication of the Pantheon, like the earlier commemoration of all the martyrs, occurred in May. Many Eastern Churches still honor all the saints in the spring, either during the Easter season or immediately after Pentecost. </p><p>How the Western Church came to celebrate this feast, now recognized as a solemnity, in November is a puzzle to historians. The Anglo-Saxon theologian Alcuin observed the feast on November 1 in 800, as did his friend Arno, Bishop of Salzburg. Rome finally adopted that date in the ninth century.</p> American Catholic Blog Touch can be an act of kindness when someone is dying. If you visit a sick person and find that you are at a loss for words, reach out and touch her hand.

 
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