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Household Saints
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Reviews & Ratings for
Household Saints More at IMDbPro »

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Tragedy and Comedy

Author: Peter Ingestad from Sweden
10 February 2005

This complex and exceptionally intelligent film about two - or even three - generations of Italian-American women, makes you laugh, makes you cry. Splendid play by Lili Taylor, and Tracey Ullman is great as well. The main theme of the film is the relation of these women to love, and to to their Catholic faith about which this film has much to say, doing so in a rather ironic, yet loving and understanding way. Precisely this mode of detached but understansing irony is general mood of the film: the burlesque and the sentimental is mixed and fused together into an expressive unity, free of contradiction and dissonance: a feat very very rarely achieved by any director. So, in short, and quite simply, this is one of the finest movies I have ever seen.

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Lost Treasure

Author: angie-p-ballard from USA
19 May 2004

I fell upon this movie while searching for D'Onofrio's work. I quickly realized that this "little known" film is a gem of a movie. D'Onofrio, Ullman, Taylor and Malina all deliver a brilliant performance by making the characters alive and believable. It is the kind of move that draws you into their living room, making you part of the scene. You feel their joy and pain as the stories told.

It doesn't matter if your Greek, Jewish, Irish, or Italian, you begin to see your own families heritage and culture unfold. As a second generation Italian-American Catholic, it brought back a flood of memories of tradition, grandparents, family gatherings, superstition, and the struggle to assimilate in America.

Household Saints didn't get its share of publicity and the actors/actress didn't get the recognition they deserved for their brilliant performances.

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:


Author: StephanieGould from MA
8 October 2003

"Household Saints" is one of the best movies that I have seen. With an all-star cast including Tracy Ulman, Vincent D'Onofrio, and Lili Taylor. The only odd thing about this movie is that D'Onofrio plays Taylor's father in this movie. Four years earlier he played her fiancee in "Mystic Pizza" it just seemed odd at first, but then the performances overshadow the odd-casting choice. I seemed to be engrossed by the plot and the performances which were brilliant! Great movie!

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

I Believe It!

Author: John Grattan Lapin ( from A Home
3 January 1999

As a Catholic and graduate of a Catholic grammar school, this movie was particularly nostalgic. While I never knew anyone whose faith was quite as strong as Lili Taylor's character, I was indoctrinated in "Saint Lore". Lili Taylor was perfectly believable as the serene beautified girl who loves Jesus and is visited by him under ordinary circumstances. Lili Taylor's smile and calmness would be a great joy and comfort to anyone. Yes, I bought the movie in its entirety and cannot find a critical word to offer. If other viewers find joy in organized religion, this is the movie for believers regardless of faith. Also, If you like Lili Taylor's work, you will not be disappointed.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A Nice Surprise

Author: VelvetUnderpants from Reno, Nevada, USA
6 April 2005

I first saw this movie in a small "art theater" with a friend. I found it deeper than expected, funnier than expected and an all around enjoyable movie.

It was a nice surprise to find a small film that spoke so largely about life and what it (life) means to us individually. One need not be catholic or Christian, Italian or ethnic to appreciate the layers of understanding and perspective that the characters birth on-screen.

For myself, and my friend, it opened a dialog. We related to the characters in different ways. As we shared what we experienced, we learned that we wanted to see the film again. I wanted to see what she had seen, and she wanted to see what I had seen. We did agree on one thing: We both found the film to be a jewel.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Lili Taylor, just short of marvelous

Author: rness-1 ( from Brooklyn, New York
9 June 2002

The film itself was a bit sentimental; however, the performance given by Lili Taylor, convinced me that she rates as a major actor. I was particularly impressed with her hospital bed scene, when she quietly confronted her father about his losing a Pinochle game that resulted in his having to marry her mother.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Great Multi-Generational Tale of Italian-Americans

Author: Ethan Fry ( from Brookfield, CT USA
9 January 1999

This movie is an absolutely superb tale about family life for Italian-American Catholics. It starts out at the tale of how one man wins the hand in marriage of another man's daughter in a pinochle game, and continues in twists and turns to compel any audience watching it right up until the movie's end. Subtle metaphors teach us lessons about life and Tracy Ullman in what is no doubt the greatest performance of her movie career shows us that she has a range none of us knew before. A great film.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

one of my favorites

Author: android-8 from brunswick, maine
16 July 2000

I have seen this film several times on Bravo. The cast is great. Tracy Ullman is quite good in dramatic roles. Very charming scene where a British Jesus visits a girl while she's ironing.I'm not a Catholic or even a believer but I found the character of Theresa being a saint quite credible.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

See it!

Author: evraymer from Canada
22 October 2002

I was so impressed by this film when I saw it at the Festival of Festivals (now the Toronto International Film Festival) in 1993 that I went home without seeing anything else. I would recommend it to any spiritual person. The film's saint is Saint Therese of Lisieux, who once said "What matters in life is not great deeds, but great love." After her death, she promised to "let fall a shower of roses," which is pivotal in the film. I really recommend it. A wonderful work by an American director.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

flipped generation gaps

Author: Lee Eisenberg ( from Portland, Oregon, USA
23 April 2007

Not just another movie about Italian-Americans, "Household Saints" portrays three generations in a family, culminating in the granddaughter (Lili Taylor) getting obsessed with Jesus to the extremest extent. That seems a little antithetical - to me, at least - as I usually expect the older generations to be more religious than the younger generations to reject it. But don't get me wrong; I recommend this movie, at the very least as a look at the vicissitudes of family life. Nancy Savoca has shown that she does a great job when casting Lili Taylor, with this one and "Dogfight". Also starring Tracey Ullman, Vincent D'Onofrio and Michael Imperioli (of "The Sopranos").

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