Friday, June 22, 2007

Sister Act

Ok, "Citizen Cane" maybe the best American movie; at least it always seems to win whenever the topic is voted upon, but in my humble opinion the best movie in ages is..."Sister Act".

Yes, that "Sister Act" the 1992 comedy movie starring Whoopi Goldberg, Maggie Smith, Kathy Najimy, Mary Wickes, and Harvey Keitel. I and Maggie the cat am I sitting for, watched it for the umpteenth time last night (not sure if Maggie had seen it before, but she seemed to enjoy it as long as her ear was being scratched.)

The comedic plot tells of a showgirl Deloris Van Cartier (Goldberg) who has go into police witness protection since her mob boss boyfriend (Keitel) decided to rub her out after she witnesses a murder he committed. To protect her, the police disguise her and put her in a convent, thus they dub her "Sister Mary Clarence".

She obviously does not fit in with the quiet, austere lifestyle of the convent and soon has the Mother Superior (Maggie Smith)at her wits end. Trying to keep her out of trouble, Mother Superior puts her in the convent's rather off-key and pathetic choir. Soon, Sister Mary Clarence has the choir swinging and singing like angels bringing large crowds to the rundown church. Despite the protests of the Mother Superior, she invigorates the convent, drags them out of their sheltered lives and into the rough but needy neighborhood. Her efforts draw a lot of attention, from TV crews and even from the Pope himself.

Being seen on TV and with the aid of a mole in the police department, Deloris' disguise is revealed and she is kidnapped along with a novice nun. The novice, Sister Mary Robert, escapes and informs the other nuns of what has happened. Never hack off a nun; they persuade the Mother Superior to rescue Deloris who has been taken back to Reno. Of course the nuns and the police save the day and thus, now back as Deloris Van Cartier, she leads the choir in a command performance for the Pope.

High drama, murder, music, nuns...what more could a film want? Great acting. You have Whoopi Goldberg, Maggie Smith (Now Dame Maggie Smith) multiple Oscar and Emmy Winner, Oscar nominee Keitel as a goon (imagine that), the hilarious Kathy Najimy and the legendary Mary Wickes, veteran of Orson Welles Mercury Theatre and many classic films (Now Voyager, The Man Who Came to Dinner, White Christmas, Postcards From the Edge) and TV roles in the Lucy Show and the Love Boat.

I enjoy the movie every time I see it, know the plot and scenes by heart but it remains fresh and entertaining. Isn't that the sign of a great film?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sister Act, ah, what a guilty pleasure. Originally, Bette Midler was supposed to be cast as Deloris, which like all alternative castings, makes you wonder if it would have been as good. Sister Act won several awards among a couple of Golden Globes, if I remember.

One of the silly movies I can never turn off is Midnight Run with De Niro and Charles Grodin. It's not my favorite, but I can't stop watching the damn thing once the remote stops. 'Hellboy' and 'Chronicles of Riddick' are two others. I'm a sucker for good Sci-Fi films.