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The phrase "entertaining angels" refers to the practice of treating all guests--be they kings or peasants--as if they were visiting angels. This is the challenge for all humble Christians and the one Dorothy Day rises to meet. Written by
Looking astonishingly like the women she portrays Moira Kelly gives a great performance as Dorothy Day who with the Catholic Worker movement managed to combine Karl Marx and Jesus Christ. She came to believe that man shall not live by bread alone, but bread was certainly essential. A radical doctrine for that hidebound institution known as the Roman Catholic Church.
When we first meet Dorothy Day she's a most militant suffragette and she's out there hanging out with a crowd that Warren Beatty introduced us to in Reds. They all went their separate ways be it John Reed to Russia, Eugene O'Neill to the theater. At some point Day came to believe that humankind had a soul and a spiritual hunger that the Communist Manifesto was not addressing.
She will never be considered for sainthood, she was not the type to whom sainthood is granted. She had her share of lovers, she had a child and it's not too clear whether she was married to Lenny Von Dohlen or not when their daughter was born. But if deeds is the measure she should qualify.
Brian Keith has a role and he's simply identified as the Cardinal. In fact he's Cardinal Patrick Hayes of the New York Archdiocese and while not 100% supportive was indulgent. Cardinal Hayes did quite a lot spending much of the Archdiocese's own funds to help in relief. He died in late 1938. His successor was Cardinal Francis Spellman who had he been in charge no doubt would have squelched her movement. But Catholic Workers was a fait accompli when he took over and he gave her a wide berth and her do her thing while he did his vigorous anti-Communist thing.
In fact in their scene Keith does mention that he is distressed she associates with these anti-clerical elements who are sympathetic to the Spanish Republic. She doesn't give an inch. The scene with Keith and Kelly is the high point of the film.
No sainthood for Dorothy Day, but the love and respect of millions whom she served. Really fine biographical film.
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