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Erica Galindo
Celebrating Food, Faith and Family
Last edited on: December 4, 2015.

The growing Renaissance of artistry and Reformation of content continues with a  breadth of options for better films in theaters for all ages. On December 3, The State. com provides a review of “The Letters,” a movie about the life of Mother Teresa due out in theaters December 4. Rick Bentley writes in this article, “The commitment by Mother Teresa to care for those who had been rejected by society is one of the most unparalleled displays of benevolence of the 20th century. The tiny woman showed the world through her actions the truest meaning of charity.” Bentley describes the story of the movie as unfolding as Sister Teresa (Juliet Stevenson) hears a calling from God to leave the convent in Eastern Calcutta, India, where she has been serving as a teacher to work in the streets. She is most concerned with offering care and comfort to the masses who are starving, sick or dying.

The Letters

The Letters 2015 : Photo Courtesy Big Screen Productions V

According to Bentley, Mother Teresa establishes her own congregation whose work is so world-changing that it earns the Mother Teresa the Nobel Peace Prize. Bentley commends Juliet Stevenson for her playing Mother Teresa and says, “It’s a remarkable performance worthy of Oscar consideration considering how controlled the work had to be within the confines of Riead’s script. Mother Teresa was not prone to big displays of either joy or frustration, but Stevenson still manages to show the frustration and emotional burden that weighed heavily on Mother Teresa’s shoulders. It was a burden she almost exclusively carried alone.”

Bentley says that there would have been more emotional range for notable British actor, Juliet Stevenson, Stevenson had Riead opted to spend less time making a biopic on the life of the nun and more on the contents of the letters. He says, “This is a powerful part of Mother Teresa’s life, but the way Riead has written the script and shot the film plays it too safely. Stevenson takes the material Riead gives her and plays the role with the respect and energy it needs and deserves…. but there are plenty of memorable scenes… ‘The Letters’ is a loving and powerful tribute… Mother Teresa’s life was so inspiring that even a film that tells her story at only about 75 percent of its potential still delivers a heavy spiritual punch.”

The Letters 3

The Letters 2015 : Photo Courtesy Big Screen Productions V

The Movieguide.org review of “The Letters”  commends some great acting in the movie, including by Juliet Stevenson, who plays Mother Teresa. They say that some of the movie’s moments are absolutely superb. However, they report. “…the movie tries to cover too much territory, so at times it’s almost like a documentary and more linear than dramatic.” Nonetheless, they state that the movie is a powerful testimony to God’s call. MOVIEGUIDE® commends the filmmakers of THE LETTERS for telling this important and vast story. They believe it will inspire many who see it. This movie is rated as PG and Movieguide.org suggests it is appropriate for older children through adults.

There are many other good options for films in cinemas the first weekend of December for all ages. “The Peanuts Movie” (G, all ages); “The Good Dinosaur” (PG, all ages); and “The Nutcracker™” (George Balanchine’s ballet by Fathom Events for all ages) are also good intergenerational choices in cinemas the first weekend of December. “My All American” (PG, teens through adults) and  “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” (PG-13) are more suitable for teens through adults.  “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” has a good moral worldview but has intense violence. Fortunately, it has no foul language or lewd content. Other good choices for movies still in theaters are “Woodlawn” (for all ages) and “The 33” (teenagers through adults). See Sonoma Christian Home for recommendations, interviews, trailers, and more information. Look for safe, secure theaters.

Mockingjay part 2 scene

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay (Part 2) : Photo Courtesy Color Force

As darkness and danger increase in our world, the Light shines brighter and brighter. The Renaissance of artistry and Reformation of content continues to grow in entertainment media across all platforms of delivery.    “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (The Bible)

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