Monday, October 04, 2004

The "Little Flower"

In eighth grade, I was going through the motions to prepare for the sacrament of Confirmation in the Catholic Church. I did not feel ready for it and it was more like a chore for me. One of the things I had to do to prepare was to choose a saint whose name I would take on as my Confirmation name. I didn't feel particularly close to any saints and was rather daunted by all the saints I'd have to read about in order to choose one. As the day drew nearer, I had narrowed my choices to two: St. Cecelia (the patron saint of music) and St. Thérèse of Lisieux.

I chose St. Thérèse. I don't remember what it was that I read about her that made me go with her; maybe I just liked her name better than St. Cecelia's. But tonight, after having seen the movie Thérèse that was just released in select theatres this weekend about her life, I'm pretty happy with my choice.

Nicknamed the "Little Flower," she's been hailed as the most popular saint of the modern age, probably because of her simple nature and childlike manner, and the fact that she never did anything extraordinary to distinguish herself, but instead went her own "little way" to show love for others. This simple girl who died at the age of 24 from tuberculosis after living in a convent ever since the age of 15 has now been called one of the Doctors of the Church (there are only 33, and she is the third woman out of all of them) as well as one of the patron saints of France, along with St. Joan of Arc (who was her own personal hero). Mother Teresa was so called because she took the name from her. So much accomplished by being so simple and "little" as she called it.

The movie isn't exceptionally made and it's quite obvious it's an independent film that had no help from top-notch Hollywood producers. In fact, it looks a lot like a TV movie or miniseries would, and is acted as such too. Lindsay Younce, who plays Thérèse, is certainly not the greatest actress around (especially in her "crying" scenes). However, she was good for this film because she seems so down-to-earth: pretty enough without being movie-star gorgeous with a humility about her that makes you think that she could be someone who lives two houses down from you or something. Plus her character in the movie was a bit of a klutz, so at times you couldn't help but identify with her, even though she had a faith that was out of this world.

It's a very CATHOLIC film, so it won't have the same widespread appeal to all Christian denominations that The Passion of the Christ did (even though that movie was also made from a Catholic perspective). But I'm really interested to see how well this movie will do. I found I was quite touched by it and now I have an even deeper appreciation for this saint whose name I took for my Confirmation. Watching movies about saints can sometimes make me feel like I am a horrible person in comparison with them, but it was comforting to see Thérèse go through a lot of self-doubt as well. Plus I heard that Lindsay Younce converted from Quakerism to Catholicism after making this film. There's a lot of heart in it. Still, it's a simply-made movie, which is actually quite fitting, for the type of person St. Thérèse of Lisieux was.

And there you have it, folks, my first-ever movie review! Ok I'm done.

Addendum: I later read this review of the movie and was surprised at all the bits of information about Thérèse that the movie left out. It would've been nice to see some of this incorporated; I think the movie would've been a lot richer as a result. (ok, NOW I'm done!) :)



Blogger Kristen said...

Cool! Thanks for your views.

10/04/2004 11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kristi - I totally forgot it's in town! I'll have to go see it sometime.

Also, Cecelia is the confirmation name I took. :)


10/04/2004 4:15 PM  
Blogger Kristi said...

Tanya: that's wild! It fits you better than it does me, I think. :) And yeah, definitely see it if you can. It will not be in theatres very long. It is only booked in theatres until October 7, and they're just going to see how well it does before they decide to open it for another week. Hopefully they will.

10/04/2004 4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really want to see it. I was hoping that it would be in theaters longer than it is going to be. I don't think that I will have a chance to see it this week. If not, we will have to plan a movie night when it comes out on DVD.


10/05/2004 11:51 AM  
Blogger Kristi said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/05/2004 12:40 PM  
Blogger Kristi said...

That post above meant to say, I definitely will be getting it on DVD whenever it comes out, and we'll all watch it then. :)

10/05/2004 3:57 PM  

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