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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Ballad of Jack and Rose, The

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Offbeat, slow-moving film about a nonconformist with a bad heart condition (Daniel Day-Lewis) who lives alone with his teenage daughter (Camilla Belle) on a former island commune "off the East Coast of the United States," but then brings the woman he has been dating into the house (Catherine Keener), along with the woman's two teenage sons, disrupting the delicate balance of their solitary lifestyle, all the while fending off the encroachments of a real estate developer (Beau Bridges). Written and directed by Rebecca (daughter of late playwright Arthur) Miller, the disjointed film features an accomplished performance by her real-life husband, the always watchable Day-Lewis, and Miller has created an atmospheric backdrop for her strange tale, but the vaguely incestuous undertones between father and daughter and a scene where the daughter invites one of the boys to deflower her make for fitfully distasteful viewing. Some rough and crude language, sexual situations and innuendo, a brief incestuous kiss, some talk of suicide, partial nudity, some drug material. 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.



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Philip Neri: Philip Neri was a sign of contradiction, combining popularity with piety against the background of a corrupt Rome and a disinterested clergy, the whole post-Renaissance malaise. 
<p>At an early age, he abandoned the chance to become a businessman, moved to Rome from Florence and devoted his life and individuality to God. After three years of philosophy and theology studies, he gave up any thought of ordination. The next 13 years were spent in a vocation unusual at the time—that of a layperson actively engaged in prayer and the apostolate. </p><p>As the Council of Trent (1545-63) was reforming the Church on a doctrinal level, Philip’s appealing personality was winning him friends from all levels of society, from beggars to cardinals. He rapidly gathered around himself a group of laypersons won over by his audacious spirituality. Initially they met as an informal prayer and discussion group, and also served poor people in Rome. </p><p>At the urging of his confessor, he was ordained a priest and soon became an outstanding confessor, gifted with the knack of piercing the pretenses and illusions of others, though always in a charitable manner and often with a joke. He arranged talks, discussions and prayers for his penitents in a room above the church. He sometimes led “excursions” to other churches, often with music and a picnic on the way. </p><p>Some of his followers became priests and lived together in community. This was the beginning of the Oratory, the religious institute he founded. A feature of their life was a daily afternoon service of four informal talks, with vernacular hymns and prayers. Giovanni Palestrina was one of Philip’s followers, and composed music for the services. </p><p>The Oratory was finally approved after suffering through a period of accusations of being an assembly of heretics, where laypersons preached and sang vernacular hymns! (Cardinal Newman founded the first English-speaking house of the Oratory three centuries later.) </p><p>Philip’s advice was sought by many of the prominent figures of his day. He is one of the influential figures of the Counter-Reformation, mainly for converting to personal holiness many of the influential people within the Church itself. His characteristic virtues were humility and gaiety.</p> American Catholic Blog We need do no more than we are doing at present; that is, to love divine Providence and abandon ourselves in his arms and heart.<br />—St. Padre Pio

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