Lenten Movie Reviews – A Man For All Seasons

I’m sure we are all familiar with this story to some extent. The one where Henry VIII wants an heir so bad he creates a church that will allow him to divorce his wife and marry the one that gave him a son. There are loads of movies and TV shows about it, most of which do not take into account the Catholic perspective. My husband and I watched The Other Boleyn Girl a few months ago and were shocked how little the Catholic Church and Thomas More were mentioned. Considering the entire fiasco is because of Henry VIII’s view of the Church and disregard for it’s teachings, you’d think it would play a larger role.

Next up in our Lenten movie journey: A Man For All Seasons



I just love learning about the saints! Especially ones who are seemingly normal people just like you and me. Thomas More was a family man, trying to earn a living and be loyal to the King of England. He was a man of deep faith, and was held in very high regard during the time he was alive. That was until Henry VIII went against the Church, and Thomas refused to follow.

I would love to think that if I was placed in a similar situation I would stand firm with the Church like he did. But at the same time, risking being taken away from my family, and facing death? I don’t know what I would do. But I guess that is why he is the saint.

This movie is a great period piece, with wonderful costumes and scenery that draws you in to England in the 1500s. It focuses on the events leading up to More’s eventual conviction and beheading, as King Henry VIII’s advisers scramble to find a way for him to marry Anne Boleyn. As Catholic’s, they know the Pope will not grant a divorce, so the King declares himself as the Supreme Head of the Church of England, and allows himself to divorce and remarry in that church. More refuses to accept this, and cleverly avoids being tried for treason for some time, by never uttering the actual words. He will neither deny nor confirm what everyone assumes to be true, and is locked in the Tower of London as punishment, until they can prove that he has committed treason. If it is possible, it is quite the comical portrayal of More, as he avoids being convicted of any crime. As a lawyer, he knows the power of perfect wording, and they have some trouble finding him guilty of anything. But in the end, once he is finally convicted of high treason, thanks false testimony, he admits that he does not acknowledge the King as the head of a Church saying “no temporal man may be the head of the spirituality”.

Upon the steps before his execution, he calmly uttered his famous final words, as he declared he was “the king’s good servant, but God’s first.”

A fantastic film, and must watch for all Catholics, and especially those that love shows like Downton Abbey and The Tudors, it gives you a great Catholic perspective on that time in England.

movie reviews

Lenten Movie Reviews – Lillies of the Field

When this movie started I may have cringed a little. I’m not the biggest fan of old movies, mostly because I feel like people only like them because they think it makes them cool. But if it’s a good movie, then is really doesn’t matter when it was made, or if it is black and white! And this one was so good, so I didn’t even mind it was black and white!

Second on our Lenten movie journey: Lillies of the Field

lillies of the field

A very young Sidney Poitier plays Homer Smith, a handy man traveling through the Arizona desert, when his car over heats. He finds a place to get some water, but doesn’t realize God has a bigger plan for him than just a quick pit stop. The farm he finds, is home to a small group of German nuns, who speak very broken English. They think he has been sent by God, and sort of trick Schmidt, as they call him, into staying and doing a few repairs, and eventually building them a chapel.
This movie is categorized as a drama, but my husband and I both agree it is much more a comedy. As you can imagine, hilarity ensues as the young free living Baptist reluctantly helps the very poor German nuns. From him teaching them English and a Southern hymn, to them teaching him that God often has greater plans for us. He arrives a very selfish young man, but learns to think of others, to trust in God, and to have faith in the community. God will provide, if it is his will to do so, and the nuns teach him that very important lesson.

It is very funny, and very heart warming!

Poitier won the Academy Award for Best Male Actor for his role in this movie! The movie is based on a book by the same name, and there is also a squeal to the film, Christmas Lillies of the Field, though Sidney Poitier doesn’t play Homer, and since he is so good in this, I’m not sure I would enjoy it as much. The chemistry between him and the nuns really makes the film.

movie reviews

Lenten Movie Reviews – The Mighty Macs

My husband and I often joke that my favourite genre of movies are sports movies. I love a feel good underdog story, even more if it is based on a true story! The only thing that can make it better is keeping it wholesome. Which as you can imagine, is pretty rare in Hollywood!

So it made sense to start this Lenten movie journey with a basketball underdog story, The Mighty Macs.

Mighty Macs

Cathy wasn’t ready to be a housewife, and loved basketball, so she took a coaching job at Immaculata College. The school had no gym, out dated uniforms, and only one basketball. A dim future in general, the school was struggling with admissions, and the possibility of being sold. Sports were not big on the list of necessities until Cathy came along. But with team work, a lot of faith, and plenty of perseverance, they manage to come together and inspire not just the college, but the entire town.  It’s a heartwarming movie, fit for the entire family. Teaching everyone to dream big, have faith, and trust your team mates.

It is based on the real story of the women’s college basketball team at the small school just outside Philadelphia. Apparently some of the original team even makes an appearance as nuns, cheering on the team at one of the games!

My only negative on this film is it the emphasis it places on being your own woman and not needing a man. Careers and your own dreams are important, but so many women do want to find a husband and start a family. I do understand that this movie taking place in the early 70s has something to do with that, and the real struggle women faced at that time. And in the end, Cathy and her husband learn to support each other, so I guess I can let that part go. There is also a scene where the coach gets the nuns to pass a note to a student during Mass, which I doubt any nun would actually do, but it is more to show the lack of understanding from Cathy, and it is kind of funny.

Great, clean family movie, would be perfect for girls aged 6-12. 

movie reviews

And just like that we are back for Lent 2015!

This little blog has been horribly neglected over the past year. I apologize for being so absent! But with the birth of our third baby, other writing opportunities, a small part-time job, a local tv appearance, and life in general being busy, something had to give! I just recently starting posting somewhat regular at my other blog, and my husband has encouraged me to give this one a little more attention now. So enough with the excuses, and let’s get right into it!

Lent 2015!

Giving up, taking up, what have you decided?! We do the usual giving up of “treats” (junk food, take out, baked goods etc) but also like to give up some thing a little more challenging and replace it with something better for our soul. This year my husband is giving up video games, and I am giving up my current guilty pleasure Gossip Girl. First lets say that I am horribly embarrassed to even admit on here that I have been binge watching it on Netflix for a while now. I am 31 years old, a mother of 3, and I am watching a show that is meant for high school girls. And frankly just the name of it is so sinful! I don’t gossip, yet here I am crazy for a tv show that is all about gossiping, and ruining he lives of the ones you love with gossip!

So, in our free time, usually in the evenings once the kids are asleep, when we would normally do these activities, we are going to watch Catholic movies. And not just historical depictions, but Hollywood ones that show Catholics in a positive light.

My husband is currently making a spread sheet with them all! Ones we own, ones we will get from the library, and ones we can find on Netflix!

So where does this blog fit in? What do you readers have to do with all of this? Well, I am hoping to share a little review and write-up about them all. Share our thoughts on how we feel the Catholics were portrayed, how historically accurate it was, and just if it was a good film. I hope this idea interests you, and that you will stick around for it! I would love to hear what you are doing this Lenten season! In addition to this, I am also hoping to get back into morning prayers, especially as a family. Mornings always seem so hectic and stressful, I am hoping if I can get my children to slow down even for a moment, and we can all pray together before leaving the house, the day will be off to a better start! It seems to settle everyone down at the end of the day, so why not start the day calmly as well!

movie reviews

For those curious about my other writing obligations you can find me on my other blog Not A Coupon Queen, occasionally at Real Housekeeping, and Dynamic Women of Faith