I just got back from the Wichita Family Conference and have a bit of news to report. As many of you many already know, Leonardo de Filippis is just about to release a new movie on the life of St. Therese of Liseaux.
Now, I must admit, I have long had grave doubts concerning this movie. While deFilippis has created a series of marvelous one-man shows, a movie is a different animal and it wasn't clear that he would be able to make the transition. I have seen several relatively obscure Catholics attempt deservedly obscure movie-length works in recent years. Thus, I was more than a little concerned that the Therese movie would be an obviously low-budget, low-production quality piece of work.
At Wichita, deFilippis showed several out-takes from the movie and gave a basic overview of the production. The movie's star, Margaret Manzy, gave her one-act performance and was on hand for Q&A.
I can say this about Therese: if the movie is as good as the out-takes, it will be favorably compared with Gibson's Passion of the Christ. Indeed, one could argue that we will see in Therese the Passion of the Virgin. I was simply stunned by how good the clips were. The visuals have the rich sensuality of a European production while the characters have a Catholic depth you can happily drown in.
This is easily one of the finest movies of 2004. I didn't think I would say this to anyone, but Therese releases in five weeks - start tapping your movie theater owners to get it in. You won't regret it.