Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the way film critics are responding to “October Baby,” a movie with a pro-life message that opens today:
The A.V. Club, an entertainment website, calls the film “propaganda for the already converted,” and the Detroit News brands it “indecent propaganda” (decent propaganda would be a pro-abortion movie). Similarly, the St. Paul Pioneer Press says the flick has “a lesson it wants to smash into our heads” (as opposed to being thoughtfully pro-abortion). But none can match Jeannette Catsoulis of the New York Times.
Catsoulis says that “at its core” the movie is “like the bloodied placards brandished by demonstrators outside women’s health clinics.” Indeed, it is meant to foster “guilt and fear.” Referring to the moving comments by Jasmine Guy, who plays the role of an abortion assistant, Catsoulis says her remarks are analogous to “a gory portrait of fetal mutilation and maternal distress.” Not only that, but get this: the purpose of Guy’s comments is to “terrify young women—and fits right in with proposed state laws that increasingly turn the screws on a woman’s dominion over her reproductive system.” Wow! Then she really goes ballistic: she exclaims that despite the movie’s message, “abortion is not a crime, no matter how fervently some people continue to wish that it were.”
All of this in a 319-word movie review! Catsoulis is obviously frustrated that she is not an op-ed writer; this explains why she writes them anyway while supposedly doing a movie review. In any event, it would be helpful to know why she reacted with such hysteria to a pro-life movie. One thing it does prove: a movie is not just a movie (every time I complain about a Catholic-bashing film I’m told to beg off—it’s just a movie).
The Los Angeles Times’ Gary Goldstein was quite fair when he said the “poignancy is hard to deny whatever side of the abortion debate you fall on.” I would go further: it is exceptional and deserves a wide audience.
Contact Catsoulis: firstname.lastname@example.org