There is no excuse for this, I know. So I won’t try. Creation myths may need a devil, but Mark Zuckerberg didn’t make me do it. Mea cula, mea cula, mea maxima culpa.
Last night “Secret Millionaire” premiered on ABC, kicking off the second season of the U.S. version of the philanthropic reality series (season 1 ran on Fox). The show puts undercover super-rich individuals in needy communities where they scout out individuals and charitable groups to work with, ultimately rewarding them with gifts of tens of thousands of dollars (or pounds, in the original UK version).
Last night’s episode put Dani Johnson, an Evangelical entrepreneur who reportedly went from being on welfare to making her first million at 22, in the impoverished Western Heights neighborhood of Knoxville, Tennessee, where she volunteers at three good causes: a soup kitchen run by a pair...READ MORE
Last night at the Academy Awards, my favorite film of 2010, True Grit, went 0 for 10, winning none of the impressive lineup of nominations it had garnered including best picture, director, actor, supporting actress and adapted screenplay. (Read full Oscar coverage.)
Ace cinematographer Roger Deakins, nominated eight times before without winning, lost a ninth nomination, this time to Wally Pfister for Inception. And for my money 13-year-old Hailee Steinfeld deserved the supporting actress award for her uncanny poise and self-assurance and her ability to hold the screen against Jeff Bridge and Matt Damon—all while effortlessly wrapping her mouth around the screenplay’s archaic language. (By...READ MORE
The Academy Awards are upon us, and the two top contenders for major awards—The King’s Speech and True Grit—are both excellent films with significant moral and/or spiritual overtones. In fact, Lisa Respers France at CNN.com’s Religion Blog suggests that many of this year’s Oscar nominees have “deeply spiritual overtones.”
As an aside, last year’s most profoundly and transcendently religious film—conspicuously not nominated by the Academy, though it’s won lots of other awards, including the jury prize at Cannes—makes its American debut this weekend in New York and Los Angeles: Of Gods and Men. If you live anywhere in the New York or Los Angeles area, go see it. This weekend. I’m not...READ MORE
My 2010 year-end piece and top 10/20 films has been up for a few weeks, and with the Academy Awards upon us we’re almost ready to be finished with the movie year 2010. Before turning the page entirely, though, I’d like to draw attention to a few more year-end lists worth noting.
From the top, the 2010 CT Movies & TV Critics’ Choice winners are:
Seven of...READ MORE
As a longtime member of the Arts & Faith community, I’m pleased to report that this week Arts & Faith and Image Journal released the 2011 edition of the Arts & Faith Top 100 Films list—possibly the best edition of the list to date, and in many ways an improvement on last year’s list.
For some background on the Arts & Faith Top 100 as well as Arts & Faith and Image Journal—along with some perspective on why I think this year’s list may be the best—please see my essay “Reading the Eternities: The 2011 Arts & Faith Top 100,” the official introduction to this year’s list. (Some trends I’m pleased to see include more Golden Age Hollywood titles (and more English titles generally; last year’s...READ MORE
Here’s something I had fun doing: 30-second movie review videos—some in rhyming verse, some not!
The five spots below were created for my cable TV show “Reel Faith,” which I co-host with David DiCerto. Our next full season is this summer, but the show’s not entirely on hiatus: We did a mini-season over Christmas (the last episode of which you can still watch online), and last week we taped a special one-hour Academy Awards episode that I believe will be airing this Sunday (I’ll let you know).
Now David and I have done a series of 30-second spots that run on NET as advertisements for the show, and are available online at YouTube.
Regular readers are probably familiar with my...READ MORE