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Restless Heart Syndrome: When Bad Movies Happen to Good People

Restless Heart is quite obviously a labor of love. Someone really, really loves Augustine. Writing critically about it, which I must do, feels a bit like complaining that someone’s terribly earnest, harp-accompanied wedding was tacky, and too long. Criticizing a wedding for lack of good taste is just churlish, because to evaluate aesthetically a service about love is a category error. Love is patient; love is kind; love doesn’t snicker when the caged doves inconveniently crap during the marital vows.

But I knew I was in trouble from the first scene of this movie. The vandals are set to sack Hippo, a wizened Augustine looks out onto the smoke-filled horizon, his raven-haired niece by his side, and a flock of migrating storks fly over. Only the birds look like puppets, or badly digitized drawings—something not realistic, anyway. Groan. Also, although film dubbing has obviously progressed since Godzilla, not only do the lips not match the words, but the voices don’t match the actors. The movie is in no small part about WORDS (all-caps), and so this flaw is painfully ironic. I really wish someone had insisted on subtitles.

… and you can go read the rest here at Religion Dispatches!

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