John Anderson on 'Handsome Harry'

We are extremely fortunate to have John Anderson writing for us.  Anderson, one of our new film critics, also writes regularly for The New York Times Arts & Leisure section, as well as for The Washington Post and Variety.  In fact, you might have seen this recent piece he did in the Times on Loyola Productions, the Jesuit-run film production company in LA, run by Eddie Siebert, S.J.  Anderson is a terrific writer who brings his faith to movies whose faith dimensions often escape other secular reviewers (that, or they are not encouraged to write about them in explicitly religious or spiritual terms.)  One such movie is the new "Handsome Harry," which he reviews in an online Culture piece just posted today. 

While the concept of faith is never addressed by any character in “Handsome Harry,” the entire film is built on it. Realistically speaking, Harry has little chance of finding men he lost track of 30 years previous, or to expect their memories to be reliable, or to think they’ll be forthcoming when and if he finds them. Besides, why should he think there’s any cosmic forgiveness awaiting him at the end of his journey, and why does it matter?


These are matters that don’t require explication, because they are at the root of our conception of existence: Harry proceeds because everything he’s ever known tells him he should and must, and while Bette Gordon may be a filmmaker of daring and a painterly hand, the eternal truths of “Handsome Harry” are finally what hold us.

Read Anderson's entire review here.

James Martin, SJ

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
8 years ago
Oh, look, another pro-homosexuality post, this time presented as a movie review about a guy who denied his homosexuality and is now coming to grips with it.

While I haven't seen the movie, the review suggests this movie is more about questioning one's faith rather than having faith. The two heterosexual marriages mentioned in the review have either been ended or are near end. The religious man has no compassion.

This is just another liberal promotion piece elevating gay, secular life and trashing traditional religious-based lives and male-female unions. Such a great piece for a Catholic publication and blog. Can't wait for the next installment.
Vince Killoran
8 years ago
No kidding-there are about a half dozen "blog bullies" who roam the AMERICA website with cheap shots and thoughtless contributions. They are like the annoying uncle at Thanksgiving who spouts off his fact-free opinions while everyone sits around and tries to humor him.  Of course that's one day a year but these bloggers are at it 24/7.
Stanley Kopacz
8 years ago
Fr. Martin,

America Magazine is my oasis, or at least one of my few. I've been a subscriber for forty years. The articles are not only relevant, they're a pleasure to read. I've especially enjoyed the slant taken on reviewing works of the general culture, finding echoes of God where one might expect none. We Catholics don't own God. God owns us.

Thanks to you and all who make America Magazine happen.

Stan Kopacz


Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

A blockbuster exhibition profiles one of the 20th century's great bridge figures.
Rob Weinert-KendtApril 26, 2018
History records many great men and women who would have been set aside without the aid of someone able to see past their faults.
Terrance KleinApril 26, 2018
Patrick J. Conroy, S.J., seen here in June 2017, had been the chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives since 2011.  (CNS photo/Rhina Guidos)
Patrick Conroy, S.J., submitted his resignation earlier this month. The Hill reports that a prayer seen as critical of the Republican tax bill may have been a factor.
Speaking in Chicago to a gathering of U.S. priests, Archbishop Wilton Gregory addressed racism, sexism and a host of other societal challenges that "continue to hold us captive."