Heaven Help Us

In Movie Reviews, Uncategorized on June 28, 2010 at 1:05 am

A strict Catholic boys’ school in Brooklyn stands as a buttress against the hedonistic temptations of the 1960s. But the Brothers of St. Basil have to work overtime to keep their latest batch of libidinous, rebellious students in line and focused on their studies. The stellar cast includes Donald Sutherland, John Heard, Andrew McCarthy, Kevin Dillon, Mary Stuart Masterson and Patrick Dempsey. Michael Dinner directs.

This was another recommendation from my dad, who knows the type of movies I like and really leads me down the right both most of the time. This was no exception.

There were several reasons I likes this film. First, it is one of those kinds of movies where not a lot happens, but you are still glued to the screen watching what actually does happen (if that makes any sense). It is a slow short hour and 40 minutes. The director crams a lot into that time without making you feel over-burdened with a lot of complex plot. Sometimes simple is the best, as it is here (and with another film I will be reviewing right after I type this review out).

Because of the time when this film was made (before all the church scandals) the creepiness which hangs over a lot of the newer Catholic school based movies is not there (Sleepers and Doubt come to mind). These are just mid-60s boys and girls getting into trouble in a much more innocent way than today’s youth.

It is fun to see actors like Dempsey and McCarthy when they are so young (and trust me, they are YOUNG here). Sutherland is used very little , but still just commands the screen when he on it.

And finally, there is John Heard. This is an actor who I have always felt was incredibly under-rated (for those of you who don’t know who he is, he is the father from Home Alone). He is sssooo good in this movie as the understanding and slightly rebellious teacher, who acts as the foil to the more strict teachers of the school.

As I said before this is a film that is not full of sex and violence. It is not some heavy arthouse type film that the snobs of filmdom will sit around and dissect. It is simply a well crafted and directed tale of youth and growing up.

4 out of 5 stars.


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