My original Tribeca plan for today was to see "Kiss Me Again," followed by "The Saint of 9/11." Then I watched the trailer for the first movie, which looked like porn. So I switched to "The Yacoubian Building," an almost 3-hour Egyptian soap. The trailer for this was comparably long (almost 6 minutes).
The best thing about having a pass is not being locked in to any specific movie. When I found I wanted to sleep late, it was not hard to drop "Yacoubian" altogether. When I got up and checked the blogs, I learned IMDB has expanded the "Wordplay" cast listing. It's unclear why Amy Reynaldo is now listed and, say, Miriam Raphael isn't (the Sundance factor?), but things seem to be moving forward behind the scenes. Still no active web site, but wordplaymovie.com may be replacing wordplaythemovie.com.
Since there was no extensive "Wordplay" obsessing to be done, I was able to get out and go to the movie. At the 34th St. theater, people holding up large cat drawings on sticks abounded. I later learned it was a promotion for "The Case of the Grinning Cat." I walked past the grinning cats to the theater. Again it was almost empty at first, and again it filled up. Literally. I don't think there was a single empty seat. I listened to Jethro Tull and Jefferson Airplane on the iPod while waiting in the semi-dark.
The movie was the story of Father Mychal Judge, an amazing man who gave fully of himself. Even if he had not died in such a horrific way on 9/11, his past deeds would have been worthy of documentation. Tears came to my eyes as a hospice worker described his caring and selfless work with AIDS patients. Just as I was wondering if they would elaborate on the fact that he was gay and a recovering alcoholic (sober 23 years), they did. There was a discussion later on whether he was actually celibate; we will never know. This issue could cloud things for actual sainthood, but really, didn't this man do enough?
Besides celibacy, the Q&A with the director and producer touched on Judge's relationship with the Church, which was less than cooperative in making the movie. A 9/11 victim's sister spoke movingly. A gay man who quit the seminary but said he was still a devout Catholic also thanked the filmmakers. The hospice worker shown in the movie was there. No one asked her any direct questions, and I considered telling her I didn't cry until her segment - but didn't. Afterward, I turned to the man next to me and we both said, "That was great." Still, there was something a tiny bit lacking (I guess I wanted to know more) and I gave it 2/5 (1 is best).
Since I gave "American Cannibal" a 1 and "The Saint of 9/11" a 2, I'm probably going straight to Hell.