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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Married Life

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Sluggish period melodrama -- based on John Bingham's 1950s' crime novel, "Five Roundabouts to Heaven" -- in which a businessman (Chris Cooper) decides to poison his wife (Patricia Clarkson) believing (wrongly) she'll be bereft without him when he ultimately leaves her for his mistress (Rachel McAdams), not knowing the latter is being romantically pursued by his best friend (Pierce Brosnan). Though co-writer-director Ira Sachs seems to want to explore the challenges and compromises of long-term relationships, the stilted dialogue, lumbering pace and stylized old-movie artifice undercut an ostensibly suspenseful plot, solid performances and handsome production design. Adultery, murder theme, nonmarital sexual relationships, one nongraphic sexual encounter, some sexual talk and partial male nudity. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

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Augustine of Hippo: A Christian at 33, a priest at 36, a bishop at 41: Many people are familiar with the biographical sketch of Augustine of Hippo, sinner turned saint. But really to get to know the man is a rewarding experience. 
<p>There quickly surfaces the intensity with which he lived his life, whether his path led away from or toward God. The tears of his mother (August 27), the instructions of Ambrose (December 7) and, most of all, God himself speaking to him in the Scriptures redirected Augustine’s love of life to a life of love. </p><p>Having been so deeply immersed in creature-pride of life in his early days and having drunk deeply of its bitter dregs, it is not surprising that Augustine should have turned, with a holy fierceness, against the many demon-thrusts rampant in his day. His times were truly decadent—politically, socially, morally. He was both feared and loved, like the Master. The perennial criticism leveled against him: a fundamental rigorism. </p><p>In his day, he providentially fulfilled the office of prophet. Like Jeremiah and other greats, he was hard-pressed but could not keep quiet. “I say to myself, I will not mention him,/I will speak in his name no more./But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart,/imprisoned in my bones;/I grow weary holding it in,/I cannot endure it” (Jeremiah 20:9).</p> American Catholic Blog Lord, please fill my heart and soul with the confidence that you will always provide what I need, when I need it, and let me be obedient to you.

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