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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

One Direction: This Is Us

By
John Mulderig
Source: Catholic News Service


Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik, Harry Styles and Niall Horan star in a scene from the movie "One Direction: This Is Us."
While grumpy grammarians may grumble over its title, the parents of targeted teenyboppers will find little to object to in the mostly harmless concert film "One Direction: This Is Us" (TriStar).

Director Morgan Spurlock showcases the boy band of the title—made up of Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson—capturing a number of their upbeat stage performances during a recent world tour. He also chronicles the group's creation by talent judge and pop impresario Simon Cowell.

Besides the good-natured horseplay going on backstage, viewers are also shown more serious aspects of the lads' lives, including their work for charity and strong emotional bonds with their families. We see them interacting with some of the African children who have benefitted from their philanthropy, and witness one performer's mother and sisters getting their first glimpse of the new, far more comfortable home he has purchased for them.

Irish-born Horan returns to his native Mullingar to participate in a (presumably Catholic) wedding ceremony. Some of the interview footage with him is filmed in the church where this event took place, suggesting it's a structure to which he feels at least some connection.

Still, a touch of salty language makes this otherwise benign picture unsuitable fare for the youngest moviegoers.

As for the inordinate number of shots showing the youthful stars either shirtless or in their underwear, they hint that all that screaming from overwrought fans isn't just about the music.

The film contains one use of profanity, brief scatological humor and a half-dozen mildly crass terms. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II—adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG—parental guidance suggested.

*****
John Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.



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Maria Goretti: One of the largest crowds ever assembled for a canonization—250,000—symbolized the reaction of millions touched by the simple story of Maria Goretti. 
<p>She was the daughter of a poor Italian tenant farmer, had no chance to go to school, never learned to read or write. When she made her First Communion not long before her death at age 12, she was one of the larger and somewhat backward members of the class. </p><p>On a hot afternoon in July, Maria was sitting at the top of the stairs of her house, mending a shirt. She was not quite 12 years old, but physically mature. A cart stopped outside, and a neighbor, Alessandro, 18 years old, ran up the stairs. He seized her and pulled her into a bedroom. She struggled and tried to call for help. “No, God does not wish it," she cried out. "It is a sin. You would go to hell for it.” Alessandro began striking at her blindly with a long dagger. </p><p>She was taken to a hospital. Her last hours were marked by the usual simple compassion of the good—concern about where her mother would sleep, forgiveness of her murderer (she had been in fear of him, but did not say anything lest she cause trouble to his family) and her devout welcoming of Viaticum, her last Holy Communion. She died about 24 hours after the attack. </p><p>Her murderer was sentenced to 30 years in prison. For a long time he was unrepentant and surly. One night he had a dream or vision of Maria, gathering flowers and offering them to him. His life changed. When he was released after 27 years, his first act was to go to beg the forgiveness of Maria’s mother. </p><p>Devotion to the young martyr grew, miracles were worked, and in less than half a century she was canonized. At her beatification in 1947, her mother (then 82), two sisters and a brother appeared with Pope Pius XII on the balcony of St. Peter’s. Three years later, at her canonization, a 66-year-old Alessandro Serenelli knelt among the quarter-million people and cried tears of joy.</p> American Catholic Blog Lord, may the medals we wear be constant reminders of the lives they depict. While wearing them, may we be blessed through the saints’ intercession and protected from harm. Help us to continue to spread the messages of Jesus and Mary and the saints and angels.

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