Household Saints

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -3

Joseph Santangelo (Vincent D 'Onofrio) has a meat market shop in New York City in the 1950's and wants to get married. He's attracted to a plain looking young woman, Catherine Falconetti (Tracey Ullman), and marries her over the objections of his mother. Joseph and Catherine are reasonably happy even though Joseph's mother, Carmela, make life difficult for Catherine. Carmela is a superstitious Catholic who receives dubious messages from God. After a miscarriage, Catherine does have a baby girl, Teresa, (Lili Taylor) who is sent to a Catholic school at an early age. She becomes greatly concerned with spiritual matters and decides to be a nun. At the same time, she's distracted by her interest in a Catholic young man and moves in with him. However, her spiritual sensitivity continues, even to the point of having a vision of Jesus and talking with him. Her spiritual sensitivity, though, seems to deteriorate into a psychotic state, although some believe she has become a saint. HOUSEHOLD SAINTS is not a happy film, but it is an intriguing story with enough thought provoking drama to hold viewers' attention.

Joseph's mother is portrayed as a mentally unbalanced, superstitious Catholic Christian. When she dies, Catherine puts away all her religious icons and pictures, and things around the house supposedly become brighter and more pleasant. Teresa is also pictured as emotionally unstable, but there are hints that her spiritual experience, visions and thoughts are valid. Her final outcome and the fact that her father believes he sees wounds in the palms of her hands convinces him she has become a saint. Although the overall theme is wholesome, the dialogue suffers from some obscenities and profanities. Also, Joseph and Catherine are shown in a very explicit, prolonged sexual intercourse scene with movements, but no nudity. In another bedroom scene, Teresa bares her breasts for her boyfriend. Further, in a gruesome scene the bloody aftermath of Catherine's miscarriage is viewed. HOUSEHOLD SAINTS is too explicit and tends to depict Catholic Christians in a demeaning light.

Preview Reviewer: John Evans
Fine Line Features, 888 7th Ave., 20th Floor, NY, NY 10106

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (6) times - Mild 2, Moderate 4

Obscene Language: Several (7) times (f-word 3; s-word 1; other 3)

Profanity: Several (7) times - Regular (G, J, J-C)

Violence: Few times - Moderate (slapping, cut turkey's throat, man kills self with sword (off-screen)

Sex: Once, explicit and prolonged; implied once in bedroom

Nudity: Once - explicit (full breast nudity)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (man ogles woman; discussion of intercourse and references to sex)

Drugs: Several times (wine drinking; drunkenness)

Other: Woman receives absurd message from God; curse put on baby; girl sees vision of Jesus and talks to him; graphic stillborn birth scene

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adult (20+)

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