Martin Sheen Stars In STELLA DAYS - Now On DemandJune 19, 2012
On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand and from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: STELLA DAYS (Tribeca Film).
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As the lights are turned on and the ranges are plugged in, the parish priest, Father Daniel Barry (Martin Sheen, THE WEST WING) encourages his wary flock to embrace the technology, going so far as to suggest that the town open a “picturehouse” to raise money for a new church building. Standing in his way is local politician Brendan (Stephen Rea, THE GOOD SHEPHERD), who worries that
The film, written by Antoine O. Flatharta and based on a novel by Michael Doorley, has a wistful, elegiac tone that recalls both the kitchen-sink dramas of the early sixties and the films of Bill Forsyth. It depicts how the same place that swaddles its residents in comfort can be stifling and oppressive to others. Sheen’s learned, scholarly Father Barry is desperate to return to what he feels is more vital work among the cardinals and bishops in Rome, but remains consigned to scrounging for donations at the pub and repeatedly administering last rites to a malingering villager – as charming as the film is, it isn’t loaded with surprises: guess what happens the one time the good father can’t make it to the sweet old girl’s bedside.
The slight delight that is STELLA DAYS depends mostly on an affinity for stories that are as delicate and ephemeral as Irish lace. What with the sad-eyed lad waiting at the bus stop for his absent dad, the longing gazes of the lovestruck young teacher, and the drunken carousing of the townspeople, STELLA DAYS is steeped in mood and a sense of nostalgia for a simpler, pre-electrical era.
Featuring a warm, introspective performance from the treasure that is Martin Sheen, the film is a sweet valentine to the power of belief.
Chris Claro is a contributing writer to On Demand Weekly. He is a former Director of Promotion for Sundance Channel and now works as a writer, producer, and media educator. He is a regular contributor to dvdverdict.com and contributor to the Eyes and Ears section of huffingtonpost.com. He blogs at http://disconcertingglare.blogspot.com. Follow Chris on twitter @cgclaro.
STELLA DAYS (Tribeca Film) can be found on demand.
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