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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Whiteout

By
John Mulderig
Source: Catholic News Service


Kate Beckinsale stars in a scene from the movie "Whiteout."
Logic is among the casualties in the Antarctic murder mystery "Whiteout" (Warner Bros.).
 
Director Dominic Sena's often grisly adaptation of Greg Rucka's 1998 graphic novel follows the exploits of federal marshal Carrie Stetko (Kate Beckinsale). Burdened by a troubled past—about which we learn only gradually by way of flashbacks—Carrie has been posted to the U.S. base at the bottom of the world at her own request, partly as an escape, partly as a self-imposed penance.
 
Her work among the researchers there—whose idea of off-duty fun includes hard drinking and brief jaunts outside in the altogether—is entirely routine until a ravaged corpse inexplicably turns up on the frozen wastes in a spot far removed from any of the multinational facilities. An examination by Carrie's colleague, friend and—so the dialogue seems to imply—former lover, Dr. John Fury (Tom Skerritt), points to murder.
 
After the killer claims more victims, Carrie is joined in the hunt by self-identified U.N. official Robert Pryce (Gabriel Macht). But his sudden appearance on the scene—not long after the murderer, his identity obscured by winter clothes and goggles, has been terrorizing Carrie with an ice pick—makes her suspicious.
 
Carrie's perplexity about whom to trust, all the more acute because of the experience that drove her to the South Pole in the first place, maintains the dramatic tension, and a couple of snow-blinded confrontations with the resourceful perp are reasonably suspenseful. But the incompetent climactic plot twist, which leaves any number of questions unanswered, makes for a lackluster final impression.
 
The film contains frequent gory images, a brief streaking scene with full male nudity, partial female shower nudity, suicide, a few uses of profanity, and occasional rough and crude language. 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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Mulderig is on the staff of the Office for Film & Broadcasting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.


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Jeanne Jugan: 
		<p>Born in northern France during the French Revolution—a time when congregations of women and men religious were being suppressed by the national government, Jeanne would eventually be highly praised in the French academy for her community's compassionate care of elderly poor people.</p>
		<p>When Jeanne was three and a half years old, her father, a fisherman, was lost at sea. Her widowed mother was hard pressed to raise her eight children (four died young) alone. At the age of 15 or 16, Jeanne became a kitchen maid for a family that not only cared for its own members, but also served poor, elderly people nearby. Ten years later, Jeanne became a nurse at the hospital in Le Rosais. Soon thereafter she joined a third order group founded by St. John Eudes (August 19).</p>
		<p>After six years she became a servant and friend of a woman she met through the third order. They prayed, visited the poor and taught catechism to children. After her friend's death, Jeanne and two other women continued a similar life in the city of Saint-Sevran. In 1839, they brought in their first permanent guest. They began an association, received more members and more guests. Mother Marie of the Cross, as Jeanne was now known, founded six more houses for the elderly by the end of 1849, all staffed by members of her association—the Little Sisters of the Poor. By 1853 the association numbered 500 and had houses as far away as England.</p>
		<p>Abbé Le Pailleur, a chaplain, had prevented Jeanne's reelection as superior in 1843; nine year later, he had her assigned to duties within the congregation, but would not allow her to be recognized as its founder. He was removed from office by the Holy See in 1890. </p>
		<p>By the time Pope Leo XIII gave her final approval to the community's constitutions in 1879, there were 2,400 Little Sisters of the Poor. Jeanne died later that same year, on August 30. Her cause was introduced in Rome in 1970, and she was beatified in 1982 and canonized in 2009. </p>
		<p> </p>
American Catholic Blog The people who know God well—the hermits, the prayerful people, those who risk everything to find God—always meet a lover, not a dictator. God is never found to be an abusive father or a manipulative mother, but a lover who is more than we dared hope for.

 
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