Kudos to New York Post film critic Kyle Smith for knowing a bigoted attack when he sees one.
Philomena is a dreary new movie starring Judi Dench as an elderly Irish woman who as an unwed teen gave birth to a son in 1950s Ireland. Under the care of Catholic nuns, the young boy was adopted by Americans. Many decades later, the woman now embarks on a trip to the States with a dour and depressing journalist (played by Steve Coogan, also a writer of the film) in search of her long-lost son, now a grown man.
The Post entitled Smith's review, "'Philomena' another hateful and boring attack on Catholics," and here is how Smith begins his piece:
"With 'Philomena,' British producer-writer-star Steve Coogan and director Stephen Frears hit double blackjack, finding a true-life tale that would enable them to simultaneously attack Catholics and Republicans.
"There's no other purpose to the movie, so if 90 minutes of organized hate brings you joy, go and buy your ticket now.
"For the rest of us, the film is a witless bore about a ninny and a jerk having one of those dire, heavily staged, only-in-movies odd-couple road trips."
Smith also deserves credit for specifically noting the unfair and inaccurate portrayal of the Catholic nuns who cared for unwed mothers and their children in 1950s Ireland:
"The film doesn't mention that in 1952 Ireland, both mother and child's life would have been utterly ruined by an out-of-wedlock birth and that the nuns are actually giving both a chance at a fresh start that both indeed, in real life, enjoyed. No, this is a diabolical-Catholics film, straight up."
Meanwhile, over at the Grey Lady, which seems to never miss a chance to take a slap at Catholics and the Catholic Church, Times' film critic Stephen Holden gushed over the film, and the paper has awarded Philomena its coveted "NYT Critics' Pick."
Holden makes no note of the mean and inaccurate portrayal of Ireland's Catholic nuns, and that history is only recently correcting the false and malicious portrayal of Ireland's Magdalene Laundries, which for decades cared for poor teens in dire situations.
And of course Holden does not make note of something that the Post's Smith and every other clear-thinking moviegoer would conclude about Philomena. As Smith says in his review:
"A film that is half as harsh on Judaism or Islam, of course, wouldn't be made in the first place but would be universally reviled if it were."
But the anti-Catholic Philomena has had no problem finding the light of day, as it is being distributed in the United States by Hollywood heavyweight Harvey Weinstein, who has spearheaded a long and enduring catalog of nasty anti-Catholic films, which, among others, includes Priest (1994), Dogma (1999), and The Magdalene Sisters (2002).
Dave Pierre is a contributing writer to NewsBusters and is the creator of TheMediaReport.com, a site which chronicles and monitors the mainstream media's coverage of the Catholic Church sex abuse narrative.