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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Black Dahlia, The

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Adaptation of James Ellroy's novel built around the never-solved, true-life case of a young Hollywood hopeful (Mia Kirshner) -- whose mutilated body was found in a vacant lot in 1947 -- focusing on two L.A. cops (Josh Hartnett and Aaron Eckhart) who are involved in the case. The Hartnett character finds himself in a platonic menage with his partner and the latter's longtime girlfriend (Scarlett Johansson), then falls under the sway of a seductive rich girl (Hilary Swank) who resembles the murder victim. Brian DePalma's film-noir homage is uneven as drama (with its overly complex script), despite his customary stylish flourishes and good, if occasionally over-the-top, performances, but the pileup of sordid revelations, though expected in the noir genre, and sundry other lurid plot elements preclude recommendation. Rough and crude language, general decadence, sexual situations and innuendo, much violence, a couple of brutal boxing matches, some grisly imagery, a re-creation of the lesbian underworld, pornography, adultery, incest, rear nudity, murder, suicide and drug use. 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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Anthony Zaccaria: At the same time that Martin Luther was attacking abuses in the Church, a reformation within the Church was already being attempted. Among the early movers of the Counter-Reformation was Anthony Zaccaria. His mother became a widow at 18 and devoted herself to the spiritual education of her son. He received a medical doctorate at 22 and, while working among the poor of his native Cremona in Italy, was attracted to the religious apostolate. He renounced his rights to any future inheritance, worked as a catechist and was ordained a priest at the age of 26. Called to Milan in a few years, he laid the foundations of three religious congregations, one for men and one for women, plus an association of married couples. Their aim was the reform of the decadent society of their day, beginning with the clergy, religious and lay people. 
<p>Greatly inspired by St. Paul (his congregation is named the Barnabites, after the companion of that saint), Anthony preached with great vigor in church and street, conducted popular missions and was not ashamed of doing public penance. </p><p>He encouraged such innovations as the collaboration of the laity in the apostolate, frequent Communion, the Forty Hours devotion and the ringing of church bells at 3:00 p.m. on Fridays. </p><p>His holiness moved many to reform their lives but, as with all saints, it also moved many to oppose him. Twice his community had to undergo official religious investigation, and twice it was exonerated. </p><p>While on a mission of peace, he became seriously ill and was brought home for a visit to his mother. He died at Cremona at the age of 36.</p> American Catholic Blog Lord, help me make my life more about you and less about me. May others see you in me—your image and likeness. Teach me ways to increase my time with you, my service to others, and my love for my family, for strangers, and for the poor. You are the light in the darkness. With each new day, may we be light to one another.

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