It may be too late for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets to hope for Oscar nominations. (Both Potter and The Two Towersare being ignored by Academy members for one of their most spectacular achievements—makeup—in favor of The Time Machine!)

But it can't hurt that this week the Vatican came forward with an official opinion on whether the boy wizard is an evil influence on youngsters. The representative for the Catholic Church did not specify whether the Pope had advance-ordered Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the next installment in J.K. Rowling's phenomenally successful series of novels. Meanwhile, Movieguide's Ted Baehr continues to argue that the Goblet of Fire will lead kids straight to the eternal goblet of fire with its "selfish, occult, New Age worldview." He calls it "visual terrorism."

Elsewhere, Greeks are being championed as God's gift to the big screen this year. Gary DeMar (RazorMouth) saw My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and exclaims, "Of all the reviews I've read, no one really gets the movie's importance." He goes on to elaborate on the secret of Nia Vardalos's success.

Meanwhile, the Christian film reviewers of the Promontory Film Critics Circle have cast their votes for the Best of 2002.


While these reviewers are looking back at past favorites, a crop of foreign films that have earned raves overseas are finally showing up in American theaters.

Guns, drugs, and photography in City of God

City of God, the critically acclaimed film from Fernando Meirelles, takes viewers to a troubled barrio in Brazil. This "city" is actually a sprawling government housing development for homeless people of the Rio de Janeiro region. In this relatively un-policed community, drug lords run the show. Using a cast of young ...

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