The Magdalene Sisters

Name: The Magdalene Sisters
Year: 2002
Rating: R
Running Time (minutes): 119
Description: A thoroughly mind-provoking film about 3 young women who, under tragic circumstances, see themselves cast away to a Magdalene Asylum for young women t in 1964. One of many like institutions, the asylums are run like prisons and young girls are forced to do workhouse laundry and hard labour. The asylum, one of many that existed in Theocratic Catholic Ireland, is for supposedly ‘fallen’ women. Here, young girls are imprisoned indefinitely and endure agonizing punishments and a long, harsh working system which leaves them physically drained and mentally damaged. As the girls bond together, it soon becomes clear that the only way out of the Magdalene convent is to escape, but with twisted Sister Bridget running the wing, any chances seem limited…
Stars: Eileen Walsh, Dorothy Duffy and Nora-Jane Noone
Genres: Drama

Ah, what fun to end a Friday evening with a movie about how religion oppressed mankind… Luckily, the announcement of the expanded Titanic soundtrack was still hovering in the back of my mind, I might not have been able to bear this harrowing story otherwise. Great acting, though.

There was almost no music in the film, but Craig Armstrong’s score was very effective.

And how ironic and sinful that the audio-describer was Scottish.

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Catch Me If You Can

Name: Catch Me If You Can
Year: 2002
Rating: PG
Running Time (minutes): 141
Description: An FBI agent tracks down and catches a young con artist who successfully impersonated an airline pilot, doctor, assistant attorney general and history professor, cashing more than $2.5 million in fraudulent checks in 26 countries.
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks and Christopher Walken

I had already watched this one years ago, but hardly remembered any of it. Nice film, but at times a little disjointed and too fast-paced. The only really problematic aspect was the parents: I just don’t understand the character of his dad and particularly his mum, and I certainly don’t get why Brenda’s father apparently thinks it’s totally cool that his girl marries a shady character when that girl was banished from the house for years. Then Tom Hanks briefly mentions Frank’s dad is dead, his mum just has another child without telling him anything about it… That’s just strange.

The score is great. I just love that “Joy Ride” theme so much.

Far From Heaven

Name: Far From Heaven
Year: 2002
Rating: Made For TV
Running Time (minutes): 107
Description: In 1950s Connecticut, a housewife faces a marital crisis and mounting racial tensions in the outside world.
Stars: Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid, Dennis Haysbert
Genre: Drama, Romance

How many things can go wrong with a romantic drama starring Julianne Moore? I was always going to like this one, I suppose, but hadn’t expected it to be so moving, emotional and sad. I really enjoyed it, especially after all the crap I’ve been watching lately. My only negative remark is that Moore was at times perhaps a little bit too gushing, too frantic, too desperate, but then again, it was probably part of the act.

This was also my first Elmer Bernstein score and it was gorgeous! There was me thinking no one could beat Patrick Doyle at writing lush, romantic scores. This one was absolutely stunning and heartbreaking.