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I saw Jim Sheridan's great New York movie in Ireland on the evening of
Saturday November 1. Halloween was already over, All Saints Day was drawing
to a close and I knew that Sunday November 2 was going to be All Souls Day.
The film is set in New York where an family from Ireland, father, mother and two young girls, move into an apartment block full of drug pushers and transvestites and where they can hear the intermittent screaming of a man.
The family have lost a little boy, Frankie, who has died of a brain tumor and the lives of the four survivors are wrapped in an enduring sorrow. On Halloween the girls make friends with the screaming man, a black man called Mateo who gets invited to 'The Halloween Party'.
The girls go out to a local cafe and the parents enjoy themselves in sex.
Later they find out that there is a child on the way...
Enough of that. To go on will only spoil the unraveling of a story that has some of the darkness and some of the enchantment and some of the sadness and the challenge of death that marks the three days of Halloween, All Saints and All Souls.
Since losing Frankie, his parents, even though they send the girls to a local Catholic school,seem to have lost their faith in God. However, as the film draws to its superb close, although God makes no obvious comeback, it is clear that St. Paul's great trio of virtues - faith, hope and love - have triumphed as a deeply wounded family finds healing as they celebrate the homecoming of their little baby girl. Her name? Sarah Mateo Sullivan.
This is a great film about family life. Yes, there is one intense lovemaking scene but there is nothing in this film for the voyeur. I guess that is why it is rated 12PG by the wise Irish censors who obviously want you to go to see it and to bring your children and / or your grandchildren with you, no matter how young they are!