Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 3, 2006 / 3 Adar, 5766

Why did conservatives ignore Emily Rose?

By Julia Gorin


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Standing silently in contrast to all the Oscar hoopla this week is the most underrated, untalked-about movie of the year. That "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" didn't garner a single Academy nomination isn't surprising, but why didn't it win any notice from conservatives?


Granted, the title suggests a horror film, but "Emily Rose" is actually a courtroom drama about faith that takes audiences on a spiritual journey. In a departure from the cynical treatment that religion usually gets in Hollywood, the film's hero is a Roman Catholic Priest. Father Richard Moore, played stunningly by onetime Oscar nominee Tom Wilkinson, is on trial for the death of a girl on whom he performed an unsuccessful exorcism. In a further departure, Laura Linney — an Academy favorite who generally plays leftist heroines — is a defense lawyer who gains a conscience over the course of the story, and who asks the jury to keep an "open mind" on behalf of a Catholic priest.


In the film — based on events that occurred in the 1970s to a 19-year-old German co-ed named "Michel" — the charge is negligent homicide. As Laura Linney told MovieWeb.com, the issue of the case isn't about whether or not Emily was possessed, but whether Father Moore contributed to her death.


The prosecution's case is that Moore endangered Emily's life by persuading her to abandon her medical treatment in favor of religious treatment. In addition to punching holes in the prosecution's medical case, the Linney character, Erin Bruner, tries to validate the alternative — that is, the possibility of possession — in a court of law. She tells the jury, "Maybe you can't reconcile [Moore's] beliefs with your own, [but] after the failures of the doctors, he simply tried to help Emily in a different way."


Along the way, Bruner — an agnostic and a complacent, self-obsessed attorney who became a media celebrity when she got an accused murderer acquitted — is led not only to reevaluate her choice of profession when her former client strikes again, but also to undergo a spiritual awakening of her own. In her closing arguments, Bruner tells the jury that she is "a woman of doubt. Angels and demons, G-d and the Devil. These things either exist, or they do not exist…Either possibility is astonishing. I cannot deny that it's possible. And this trial is about possibilities….Is it possible that [Emily] was beloved by G-d and that she chose to suffer to the end so we believe in a more magical world?....That sincere belief determined her choices, and Father Moore's."


Echoing Linney's characterization of the film as one that would be a "balanced examination of these events" rather than a movie "that told people how to think," Belisa Silva, of Lehigh University's student paper "The Brown and White," writes, "I think the reason this movie scared me so much was because it doesn't push to make believers out of its audience. It merely presents the story and lets you decide for yourself whether you think Emily was truly possessed by demons or merely epileptic… Although exorcisms and possession seem ridiculous in today's society, the movie asks that we consider the possibility of its existence."


In fact, by asking us to consider whether or not demons exist, what the film is really asking us to consider is the existence of a spiritual world and therefore G-d. No doubt, for some audience members, it is that possibility that will be the most horrifying aspect of this "horror" film.


As the epitaph on Emily's grave reads, "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." (Philippians 2:12)

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Julia Gorin is a widely published op-ed writer and comedian who blogs at www.JuliaGorin.com. Comment on by clicking here.

Julia Gorin Archives

© 2005, Julia Gorin.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles