Archive by category: Character-drivenReturn
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Greater - power of good example

Greater - power of good example

How bad do you want it? This question drove Brandon Burlsworth (Christopher Severio) to something Greater. Despite no natural talent on the football field, Brandon wanted more than anything to play for the Arkansas Razorbacks. Coach after coach told him he would never make it but Brandon proved them all wrong and became known as the greatest walk-on in college football history.
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Captain Fantastic - Radical Beliefs, Radical Living

Captain Fantastic - Radical Beliefs, Radical Living

In "Captain Fantastic," Ben Cash (Viggo Mortensen) lives off the grid in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. He and his wife decided to raise their six children away from the influences of the world, providing a physical, moral, and intellectual education rarely seen today. Ben and Leslie (Trin Miller) want their kids to be philosopher kings. Intellectual debate happens around the campfire at night after daytime hours filled with rigorous physical training and hunting.
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Free State of Jones - We are all children of God

Free State of Jones - We are all children of God

Back in 1991, I spent one week in Charleston, SC, on loan from my community in Alexandria, VA, to help out in the Pauline Book & Media Center there while other Sisters were away on vacation. Having always been a history buff, I took the opportunity to visit Fort Sumter on the weekend.  The narrative provided during the boat trip  mentioned the 1989 film, Glory, the story of which took place on nearby Morris Island. That night, I rented Glory and loved the film so much that it launc...
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Me Before You

Me Before You

Louisa, caretaker and companion to the the embittered and sarcastic Will (a young quadriplegic), eventually gets under his skin with her perpetually cheery, optimistic and endearing demeanor, coupled with her highly original fashion choices. The dialogue and gentle sparring is genuinely witty and charming. The plot machinations are funny. At one point, while the "superior" Will is trying to school Lou about life, Lou comes back at him with a knowing description of how the type of upwardly mobile...
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Last Days in the Desert - The Human Face of God

Last Days in the Desert - The Human Face of God

Writer-director Rodrigo Garcia imagines one possible scenario that might have happened to Jesus as he wandered at the tail end of his 40 days of fasting and praying. And wander he does, and then more wandering, and even more wandering. The landscape is bare, rocky, dusty, hot, and seemingly endless, not a nice place to get stuck in. It is here that Yeshua (Ewan McGregor) kneels in the dirt and mutters, “Father, where are you?” We see a broken Jesus. His ratty robes and grungy face do little to...
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The Dark Horse - From Brokenness to Compaasion

The Dark Horse - From Brokenness to Compaasion

"The Dark Horse," the true story of New Zealand speed chess champion, Genesis Potini (Cliff Curtis), radiates compassion and mercy. Potini suffers with bipolar disorder. The opening scene sets the tone for the whole film. Gen, as he is called, wanders the rain-soaked streets wrapped in a patchwork quilt. He’s drawn to a pawn shop by the chess set in the window. The people in the shop show him compassion as he’s obviously mentally disturbed but they don’t quite know what to do with him.
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Risen - Film Commentary

Risen - Film Commentary

"Risen" is a drama set in Biblical times centering around the mystery of Jesus’ Resurrection. It is the story of Clavius, a fictional Roman tribune brilliantly portrayed by Joseph Fiennes, who is tasked by Pontius Pilate (Peter Firth) first with overseeing Jesus’ Crucifixion, then sealing Jesus’ tomb, and finally hunting for Jesus’ body after the Resurrection to prevent the Jewish disciples proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah. The outer story of Clavius’s search for Christ provides the framewo...
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Room - Sharing Strength

Room - Sharing Strength

"Room" showcases the best and worst of humanity in a compelling story adapted by Emma Donoghue from her own novel. Brie Larson, in an Oscar-worthy performance, is Ma, a young woman abducted when she was 17 and kept in a 10 x 10 foot square shed ever since. Jacob Tremblay is Jack, the son Ma bears after being repeatedly raped by her captor. Their story is as horrible and inspiring as any.
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The Revenant - intense, gory saga of love and revenge

The Revenant - intense, gory saga of love and revenge

Water, breath, fire, wind. Ice, snow, cold, wet. Pain and more pain. Violence, so much violence. Heartbreak, loneliness. Beauty and cruelty. Betrayal and treachery. Death, so much death. Whispers from beyond yet near and signs of hope. Body and soul, love and sacrifice. The natural and unnatural in a tension that hemorrhages blood and life. This is just a sample of what Alejandro G. Iñárritu's "The Revenant" is about.
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