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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Phantom of the Opera, The

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Opulent film version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's long-running musical about the disfigured madman in an 1870 opera house in Paris, the young soprano whom he coaches from behind her dressing room mirror, and the young count who loves her. Joel Schumacher's film is visually magnificent, and the lush soundtrack offers a fine earful, but the Phantom (Gerard Butler) is portrayed as too much the handsome Byronic hero to be truly terrifying, Christine (Emmy Rossum) is beautiful but dolefully impassive, and Raoul (Patrick Wilson) bland, with unconvincing lip-syncing that detracts from the drama. Miranda Richardson, Minnie Driver, Simon Callow and Ciaran Hinds excel in supporting roles. Fleeting rear nudity by a background extra, a few coarse words and some violence. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.



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First Martyrs of the Church of Rome: There were Christians in Rome within a dozen or so years after the death of Jesus, though they were not the converts of the “Apostle of the Gentiles” (Romans 15:20). Paul had not yet visited them at the time he wrote his great letter in 57-58 A.D.. 
<p>There was a large Jewish population in Rome. Probably as a result of controversy between Jews and Jewish Christians, the Emperor Claudius expelled all Jews from Rome in 49-50 A.D. Suetonius the historian says that the expulsion was due to disturbances in the city “caused by the certain Chrestus” [Christ]. Perhaps many came back after Claudius’s death in 54 A.D. Paul’s letter was addressed to a Church with members from Jewish and Gentile backgrounds. </p><p>In July of 64 A.D., more than half of Rome was destroyed by fire. Rumor blamed the tragedy on Nero, who wanted to enlarge his palace. He shifted the blame by accusing the Christians. According to the historian Tacitus, many Christians were put to death because of their “hatred of the human race.” Peter and Paul were probably among the victims. </p><p>Threatened by an army revolt and condemned to death by the senate, Nero committed suicide in 68 A.D. at the age of 31.</p> American Catholic Blog People are not perfect. But God does not only call upon great saints to reveal his love for the world. He also calls the broken and desperate. We are all called to act as God’s light in this darkening world.

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