Andrew Garfield, Mahershala Ali, Ruth Negga, and five others received their first-ever acting nominations for 2017. While these actors are new to the Academy Awards, you may recognize them from their earlier work.
My ranking is for the remarkably clear statement of Catholic theology this short film makes, not for its cinematic expression. Jon takes a seemingly worn out genre and filters it through the Catholic understanding of transubstantiation, where in the bread and wine of the Eucharist, through a miracle of Christ, are transformed into elements that bring communicants eternal life. The Gospel proclaims that though we may be dead in our sin, through Christ's righteousness we regain our life. In partaking of the Eucharist (the sacramental and substantive real presence of Christ) we are given life when we eat of Christ's body and drink his blood (see John 6). Zomies are the walking dead, which is not a bad metaphor for most human beings who live with no hope of the future or for the transformation of their pitiful existence. Along comes Christ, standing on a street corner, and a zombie finds him. Extending his arms in love, she takes a bit of Christ, not dissimilar to a Christian consuming the Eucharist. The miracle that beautifully reflects and parallels Catholic theology is that what was once dead, now returns to life.
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