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The Truth About Movies and Les Miserables

01/18/2013 Comments (5)

I don't usually go to movies to be entertained; instead, I go to engage with truth, beauty, and goodness. I find that movies often allow the Les-Miserables-Movie-Poster-Largevoice of God to break into my soul in a way that no other medium can. Movies to me are like living icons - windows to God and truth.

As such, I have little regard or appreciation for the common kind of analysis that movie critics provide (with a few exceptions). For instance, I agree that There Be Dragons really didn't work well as a movie. Frankly, I don't care about the trivia related to why it didn't work well in general. However, I think that all serious Catholics should see it. Why? Because in this movie we are presented with the opportunity to, in some small way, peer into the heart of a saint.

So my criterion for whether or not a movie should be seen relates more to its devotional value, and less to its cinematography, acting, or other qualities. That said, I do recognize that these latter elements can significantly enhance a films devotional value.

Here's what I want to know: can the movie draw me closer to the heart of Christ and therefore conform me more and more to Him? Can it shape my mind and perception in a way that helps me to "bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ"? Can it help me to love what God loves, hate what God hates, and see our existence more clearly through His eyes? Does it help me to see what He sees? It is in this spirit that I wholeheartedly recommend Les Miserables.

As with most truths that are profoundly important, Fr. Robert Barron is exemplary in his explication. I will leave you with his insightful reflections on this movie which should be seen and pondered by every person who desires to more fully understand what it means to live and love within the redemptive grace of God.

If you have you seen the movie and it has in some way helped you to better understand grace and redemption or the torment of law without grace, I would like to hear about your experience and reflections.

Filed under art, les miserable, movie reviews, movies

About Dan Burke

Dan Burke
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Dan Burke is an award winning author, speaker, regular voice on Register Radio, the Executive Director of the National Catholic Register and founder of the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation. Dan has appeared on EWTN's Journey Home program, blogs on the spiritual life over at Roman Catholic Spiritual Direction and his latest book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God is available through EWTN's Religious Catalogue. Dan's journey began in Judaism, matured into a living relationship with Christ as a Protestant, and after fifteen years of exploration has found his home in the Catholic Church.