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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

nice film but feather light

Author: Aimee Natal ( from Chicagoland
18 April 2000

For those unfamiliar with Dorothy Day, having never read any of her writings, this film might seem like a nice one. However, if this is all anyone ever got of the "Dorothy Day Story," they wouldn't really have much of the story. It's a shame, because her writings and life were so interesting, as was her daughter Tamar's. The Catholic Worker Movement, which Day founded, still exists with over 120 communities across the USA. The film is at its best in portraying Day's life in New York City while she lived a "bohemian" life as a reporter, working for a socialist newspaper. It is too shallow in dealing with her conversion to Catholicism, leaving no real explanation for it. If it at least makes some interested in this woman's life, that is to be highly commended. I would recommend reading Day's own autobiography, The Long Lonliness.

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10 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

The Best Movie No One's Seen

Author: Red"V"
28 June 1999

This may be the best film no one has seen, despite the brief but important performance of rising star Heather Graham. {Perhaps the awkward title kept people away). "Entertaining Angels" does what few movies have: explore inner, spiritual conflict dramatically and intelligently. This is an engaging, challenging work for everyone. The film overall is not preachy, yet the religious dimension here is real, just as it is real in the lives of millions of Americans, whether the Hollywood inner-circle likes it or not.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Moira Kelly Delivers Another Inspired Performance!!

Author: James Fan ( from Austin, Texas
4 January 1999

Wow. Those of you who haven't had a chance to see Moira Kelly are really missing out on a truly great talent. Ever since I first saw her on The Cutting Edge, I've really looked up to her admirable character and her obvious acting talent. As Dorothy Day, she manages to take upon a tremendously difficult role and she succeeds beyond all expectations. The screenplay is well written, and while it does lead off the main drive of the story at times, Kelly is always there to provide a cohesive nature to to it which keeps the entire thing together. I really enjoyed this film -- I really didn't find the religious overtones to be a problem as a few of the reviews out there seemed to suggest. I hope you give it a try. You'll be glad you did. And, oh yeah... she's got a nice singing voice, too.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Ambitious and mostly a success.

Author: James B. from madison, wi.
21 November 1999

I liked this film. It tells the real-life story of Dorothy Day, who founded the "Catholic Worker" newspaper and relief agency for the poor in New York City during the Depression. Moira Kelly gives a very good performance as Day. The story follows her quest to find her way in life, ultimately leading to her helping thousands of people and providing a role model for activists.

The film contains a scene where Kelly says one of the most quotable lines ever: "If you feed the poor, you're called a saint. If you ask why they're poor, you're called a Communist." Kelly says this during a scene when she is responding to people who resist her search for the truth through her newspaper. Americans who are concerned with political freedom and justice should keep this statement in mind - it is especially salient today.

That said, there are flaws in "Entertaining Angels." Kelly's performance as the younger Dorothy Day is great, but in the film Day is supposed gradually to look older, and this aging process isn't convincing. Martin Sheen also has a part as a wandering, Christ-like, populist preacher. He's OK here, but his Inspector Clouseau-like French accent won't be on his career retrospective videotape. Also, the film might have bitten off more than it can chew. It could have used a bigger budget and a more professional cast.

Overall, though, this one is well worth a rental. I'm a big Moira Kelly fan, too. I hope she will be around a long time.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Inspiring! Moving! Excellent!

Author: mbell-2 from New Bedford, MA
8 July 1999

Entertaining Angels goes through the hard life of the converted Catholic Workers Movement leader Dorothy Day, portrayed by the extremely talented Moira Kelly. This movie is great even for people who don't know who Dorothy Day is. This movie is very excellent. If you like this movie you will probably like the Emmy nominated CBS movie Joan of Arc ( Peter O'Toole and Leelee Sobieski), and the Zeffirelli film Brother Sun, Sister Moon.

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A Sincere Effort

Author: johcafra from United States
7 October 2013

...and as good an introduction as I could hope to someone who had to have been a complex person.

I'd only heard of Dorothy Day before I viewed this movie at a Catholic retreat house run by the Redemptorists.

I suspect the producers felt they could go only so far with the subject matter, but they paid attention. The fact that they even tried reflects well on them.

Moira Kelly credibly kept my attention throughout. I could recognize Melinda Dillon, Heather Graham, Brian Keith and Martin Sheen among the other players, but that's not to slight the large cast that truly worked as an ensemble.

I'll doubtless learn more, and plan that by reading Day's autobiography "The Long Loneliness" and her account of the Catholic Worker movement, "Loaves and Fishes".

Any film that inspires me to learn more about its subject earns my respect.

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