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The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne Movie Review

peter clayton smith catholic

It took 33 years and producer George Harrison to bring Brian Moore's classic novel, The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne, to the screen. But it was well worth the long wait. Thanks, George! This is the Catholic critique to end all Catholic critiques, and now that I've seen Maggie Smith as Judy and Bob Hoskins as Jim, I can't imagine any other actors who could have played them half as well. Marie Kean and Ian McNeice are perfect too as Judy's unbelievably seedy landlady and her repellent son. Under Jack Clayton's careful direction, Judy is not good and Jim is not bad. Peter Nelson's masterful screenplay scrutinizes many crises of conscience that Catholics still struggle to understand on a daily basis. For those who may feel that John Huston's The Dead is essentially a mausoleum piece, check out how Clayton and Nelson capture a living, breathing chunk of the seductive Irish Catholic culture. It may not always make sense and, yes, it is often a very lonely life, yet The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne succeeds in showing how powerful its grip really is.

1987 (R) 116m/C GB Maggie Smith, Bob Hoskins, Wendy Hiller, Marie Kean, Ian McNeice, Alan Devlin, Rudi Davies, Prunella Scales; D: Jack Clayton; W: Peter Nelson; C: Peter Hannan; M: Georges Delerue. British Academy Awards ‘88: Best Actress (Smith). VHS

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