The executive producer of Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day Story hopes the film will find its audience after opening in nearly 20 cities last month.
Entertaining Angels, released by Paulist Pictures, tells the story of the one-time suffragette, socialist, and newspaper reporter who became a Roman Catholic in 1927 and devoted the rest of her life to serving the poor through the Catholic Worker movement, which she cofounded with Peter Maurin in 1931. Day died in 1980.
Reviews of the hagiopic have been mixed. The film "imagines her life as a series of crises that the screenplay (by John Wells) reduces into neatly circumscribed, carefully rigged little confrontations," critic Stephen Holden wrote in the New York Times.
"This is a film one would love to love, but the result is disappointing," wrote Jim Forest, editor of In Communion, official publication of Orthodox Peace Fellowship. Forest worked with Day for several years.
Ted Baehr of MovieGuide, which critiques films from a conservative Christian perspective, gave Entertaining Angels an enthusiastic review: "I loved the movie, and I wept. I thought it was a great character study." The film is rated PG-13.
Ellwood Kieser, a priest who served as executive producer, says some of the early audiences also identified with the film. At a convention of Pax Christi, the Catholic peace movement, 450 people joined Moira Kelly, the actress who portrays Day, as she sang "Amazing Grace" over the final credits.
No matter how the film performs at box offices, Kieser is satisfied. "I got the picture that I wanted. I knew Dorothy Day, and I hope to spend eternity with her."1
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