This week’s Movie of the Week is… Se7en!
The seven deadly sins come to us as the result of a combination of biblical passages and Christian writings that have developed over history. It is an intriguing list–it doesn’t include stealing, torture, suicide, or even murder. But then again, they’re called the “deadly” sins, not the “worst” or “biggest.” The sins included in the list of seven are little sticky tar pits that seem harmless until we step in them. They lead to bigger things. Here is a list of movies that match each one:
PRIDE: About a Boy. Joy planned our seventh wedding anniversary and part of that night was going to see this movie. I was disappointed at first, hoping we’d go see Spider-man or Attack of the Clones, which were also out that June night. After watching this it became one of my favourites. There is no better movie that depicts a person overcoming this effortless vice.
COVETOUSNESS: The Pursuit of Happyness. Now I don’t suggest that Will Smith’s character struggled with coveting. In fact, this movie is a perfect picture of a beautiful opposite. Chris Gardner couldn’t be anymore broke or in trouble as he was already. He was destitute to the point of homelessness, and he had a son to raise. Alone. He sees a sports car he loves and asks the owner what he does for a living. From there he chases his dream of becoming a stockbroker. But it wasn’t because he was covetous. It was inspiration. Myself, I don’t like trying to keep up with any Joneses nor serving an almighty dollar, but when I think of this movie I think of what I do want. Support for a family and a dream to chase.
LUST: American Beauty. Most would find the sex scene in this movie too much to take in. Admittedly, it’s not just steamy or racy, it involves a married man with an underage girl and it goes farther than it should for the sake of the story. But this movie gives a great depiction of restoration for Lester and an apparent 180 degree turn away from this lust. Though very unappreciated in the Christian world (sadly, many classics are), this movie is a true work of art.
WRATH: Star Wars. I suppose any movie with a good antagonist can show you a good story of wrath and what it can do to a person. You have to watch at least three movies to get the message, but the story of Darth Vader (or Anakin Skywalker) is one that centers around wrath. I chose this movie series for this sin because it has maybe the best story of redemption in light of it.
GLUTTONY: Supersize Me. Yeah, this documentary is a very uncomfortable reality check for all of us. But I have to say, this movie doesn’t criticize or damage McDonald’s as much as it appears to. I still love that place and I still eat there. After watching this movie I am more keenly aware, however, of our culture’s love affair with gluttony. I am not referring to obesity either. Gluttony is so accepted in our society that it’s practically a beloved child. Not even churches condemn it. If anything it’s encouraged. Unfortunately, it is overweight people who take the scolding and the humiliation. We all need to own it.
ENVY: Freaky Friday. Where covetousness wishes you had some possession, envy involves wanting to be someone else. In this movie a mom and her daughter each insist the other has a much easier and better life. They switch places and the rest is magic. Well, it’s at least entertaining. This was the first movie I’d ever seen in a drive-in, along with another Disney movie called Gus about a donkey who plays football. Over thirty years later I watched the remake with my kids.
SLOTH: Office Space. I can’t even tell you how much I love this movie. The main character, out of frustration with his boss(es) decides to do nothing at work. I won’t say anything more, but some of the best caricatures I’ve ever seen are in this movie.
Now I can’t just list seven movies without talking about Se7en and Brad Pitt. First of all, this movie fits in great with the “twists” movies of last week. The ending is memorable with a tie-in like you’ve never seen before. The story is gripping, the acting is excellent–if you’ve seen it you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, well, you should.
I mentioned before that I think Pitt is one of the most underrated actors in Hollywood. Even though everyone knows his name and sees him as a bigger-than-life sex symbol, this fact overshadows his supreme acting ability. Anytime I hear of a Brad Pitt movie coming out, I want to see it. I don’t need to be sold on the story. I don’t need to be given a teaser. Not even a preview. I know it will be good because I know how good he is.
Congratulations Se7en, this is your week.
And the Oscar goes to…
Best Actress: Diane Kruger as Bridget von Hammersmark. She fit into her role in Inglourious Basterds so effortlessly it was an experience just to watch her. Interesting bit of trivia: My name is Troy, she stars in the movie Troy, and the main character of that movie is played by none other than Brad Pitt. Huh!
Best Actor: Other than Brad, this week is a tough choice. We have Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey, Christoph Waltz, Jason Statham, Benicio Del Toro and Michael Fassbender. This week I think Christoph Waltz deserves the prize for his role as Col. Hans Landa. His scenes in Inglourious Basterds are mostly mere conversations yet they are terrifying. So far he has won two best supporting actor Oscars, and really I can’t imagine anyone beating him in this category.
Tyrone: I don’t want that dog dribbling on my seats.
Vinny: Your seats? Tyrone, this is a stolen car, mate.
Again, those seven sins are considered deadly for a reason: they lead to much bigger things. Often I look at the bigger, badder things that happen in life. I think we all do. A man who wishes he owned his friend’s Porsche or a woman who did nothing productive at work don’t make headlines. In our own brains we should make them headlines. We need to be a little more aware of these deadly vices and their effect on us. Perhaps Saint Brad will remind us.