October 30, 2008


The DVD "Millions" (from the 2004 British movie) is perfect for All Saints Day and All Souls Day. "Millions" is a "Miracle of Marcellino" for the twenty-first century.

Damian (Alex Etel), a little boy who reads about and talks to saints--when they appear to him he recognizes them and rattles off their birth and death dates--comes into the possession of a sustantial bag of money. Little does he know it's stolen. His older brother, Anthony (Lewis McGibbon)--a budding young wheeler and dealer--finds out about Damian's stash, and wants to invest it in real estate. However, Damian wants to give it to the poor. Although they disagree about how the money is to be spent, they agree on one thing: not to tell anyone, especially not their widowed Dad (James Nesbitt). But it's not long before the robbers come looking for their money and things turn dangerous.

"Millions" is an exploration of both taking the Gospel at face value, and the childlike faith that is needed to enter the kingdom of heaven. When Damian and Anthony's Dad finally finds out about the money, he is as tempted as anyone to use the money for himself. All the adults have their rationalizations, but not Damian, who angrily stands up to them. The tagline for the film is: "Can anyone be truly good?" Damian wants to be good so he can go to heaven and see his deceased Mum (All Souls), but we also gather that he understands the essence of the Gospel and wants to be good "for goodness' sake."


Heavenly appearances (All Saints)--which are portrayed in both an utterly organic and utterly magical way--include: St. Francis, St. Nicholas, St. Clare, the Ugandan Martyrs, St. Joseph and St. Peter. This film is perhaps one of the most charming ever made (marred only by Damian catching his father in bed with a government lady who came to talk at his school). The filming is lush, glorious and a truly artful. Kids--who probably think along the same lines as Damian--won't enjoy "Millions" as much as teens and adults in our various stages of jadedness. A great question to ask ourselves is simply: What would I do with a million dollars (that wasn't really mine)?

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