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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

One Direction: This Is Us

By
John Mulderig
Source: Catholic News Service


Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik, Harry Styles and Niall Horan star in a scene from the movie "One Direction: This Is Us."
While grumpy grammarians may grumble over its title, the parents of targeted teenyboppers will find little to object to in the mostly harmless concert film "One Direction: This Is Us" (TriStar).

Director Morgan Spurlock showcases the boy band of the title—made up of Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson—capturing a number of their upbeat stage performances during a recent world tour. He also chronicles the group's creation by talent judge and pop impresario Simon Cowell.

Besides the good-natured horseplay going on backstage, viewers are also shown more serious aspects of the lads' lives, including their work for charity and strong emotional bonds with their families. We see them interacting with some of the African children who have benefitted from their philanthropy, and witness one performer's mother and sisters getting their first glimpse of the new, far more comfortable home he has purchased for them.

Irish-born Horan returns to his native Mullingar to participate in a (presumably Catholic) wedding ceremony. Some of the interview footage with him is filmed in the church where this event took place, suggesting it's a structure to which he feels at least some connection.

Still, a touch of salty language makes this otherwise benign picture unsuitable fare for the youngest moviegoers.

As for the inordinate number of shots showing the youthful stars either shirtless or in their underwear, they hint that all that screaming from overwrought fans isn't just about the music.

The film contains one use of profanity, brief scatological humor and a half-dozen mildly crass terms. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II—adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG—parental guidance suggested.

*****
John Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.



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John Paul II: “Open wide the doors to Christ,” urged John Paul II during the homily at the Mass when he was installed as pope in 1978. <br /><br />Born in Wadowice, Poland, Karol Jozef Wojtyla had lost his mother, father and older brother before his 21st birthday. Karol’s promising academic career at Krakow’s Jagiellonian University was cut short by the outbreak of World War II. While working in a quarry and a chemical factory, he enrolled in an “underground” seminary in Kraków. Ordained in 1946, he was immediately sent to Rome where he earned a doctorate in theology. <br /><br />Back in Poland, a short assignment as assistant pastor in a rural parish preceded his very fruitful chaplaincy for university students. Soon he earned a doctorate in philosophy and began teaching that subject at Poland’s University of Lublin. <br /><br />Communist officials allowed him to be appointed auxiliary bishop of Kraków in 1958, considering him a relatively harmless intellectual. They could not have been more wrong! <br /><br />He attended all four sessions of Vatican II and contributed especially to its <em>Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World</em>. Appointed as archbishop of Kraków in 1964, he was named a cardinal three years later. <br /><br />Elected pope in October 1978, he took the name of his short-lived, immediate predecessor. Pope John Paul II was the first non-Italian pope in 455 years. In time, he made pastoral visits to 124 countries, including several with small Christian populations. <br /><br />He promoted ecumenical and interfaith initiatives, especially the 1986 Day of Prayer for World Peace in Assisi. He visited Rome’s Main Synagogue and the Western Wall in Jerusalem; he also established diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Israel. He improved Catholic-Muslim relations and in 2001 visited a mosque in Damascus, Syria. <br /><br />The Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, a key event in John Paul’s ministry, was marked by special celebrations in Rome and elsewhere for Catholics and other Christians. Relations with the Orthodox Churches improved considerably during his ministry as pope. <br /><br />“Christ is the center of the universe and of human history” was the opening line of his 1979 encyclical, <em>Redeemer of the Human Race</em>. In 1995, he described himself to the United Nations General Assembly as “a witness to hope.” <br /><br />His 1979 visit to Poland encouraged the growth of the Solidarity movement there and the collapse of communism in central and eastern Europe 10 years later. He began World Youth Day and traveled to several countries for those celebrations. He very much wanted to visit China and the Soviet Union but the governments in those countries prevented that. <br /><br />One of the most well-remembered photos of his pontificate was his one-on-one conversation in 1983 with Mehmet Ali Agca, who had attempted to assassinate him two years earlier. <br /><br />In his 27 years of papal ministry, John Paul II wrote 14 encyclicals and five books, canonized 482 saints and beatified 1,338 people. <br /><br />In the last years of his life, he suffered from Parkinson’s disease and was forced to cut back on some of his activities. <br /><br />Pope Benedict XVI beatified John Paul II in 2011, and Pope Francis canonized him in 2014. American Catholic Blog Lord, may I have balance and measure in everything—except in Love. —St. Josemaría Escrivá

 
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