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What the real Therese tried to do was offer up lovingly and cheerfully the minor irritations (and at times major suffering) caused by her fellow nuns. In her autobiography, she describes how difficult it was for her to put up with being splashed inadvertently by a zealous nun who washed the laundry next to her. Therese did not splash her back. She did not draw attention to the incident. She silently battled her irritation, ignored the splashing, and did not in any exterior way let the other nun know she was bothered. At the same time, interiorly, she did her best to focus on loving God and her fellow nun. She tried to keep herself from getting absorbed by her feelings of irritation.Read more ›
One of the big mistakes I think the makers of the film made, unless their goal was an introductory hagiography, was to attempt to portray Therese's entire life, at least beginning shortly before her mother's death. Even a relatively uneventful 15-20 years cannot be covered in any depth in an hour and a half. Also, even though she has a few crying spells, she is still shown as an almost perfect human being right from the beginning, so I didn't really get a sense of her spiritual struggle and growth. In addition, the passivity with with she is portrayed almost completely dilutes the power of her "little way." I believe that the French film mentioned by one of the other reviewers concentrated on the period of her illness and death, and was able to show her life and personality in much more depth.
A couple of things that could have been brought out or portrayed even in this version: the fact that Therese was made Mistress of Novices, entrusted with the spiritual direction of women who were sometimes older than herself; her relationship with the saintly old Mother Superior who died during her time at Carmel; and more than a glancing reference to the writing of the manuscripts that were published as _The Story of a Soul_.
However, if this movie inspires people to go out and read Therese's writing (I also recommend the biography _The Story of a Life_ by Msgr. Guy Gaucher, which is where I first encountered her), I suppose it will have fulfilled its purpose.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very good movie. I would have given it 5 stars but I found the book wasn't included. There is supposed to be a small booklet inside the DVD but it was missing. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mirabai
Not being Catholic, I did not know the background to Therese; however, since I have a friend by that name I wanted to find out more about this saint. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Patsy
There is no principle that would suggest that holy stories must be cinematic nightmares (think the Passion of the Christ). Read morePublished 4 months ago by Roman Wolf (Michael)