Busted Halo

Busted Halo contributors examine the spiritual themes of your favorite movies. Join us for a unique look at the intersection of faith and Hollywood.

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February 5th, 2013

Bipolar disorder, depression, obsession, loss and isolation — not topics that you would think add up to an Oscar-nominated love story. But Silver Linings Playbook shines a light into the dark corners of life that we often try to ignore and balances them with touching moments of connection and healing. Not to mention healthy doses of football and dancing. David O. Russell, the film’s writer and director, uses humor and empathy to draw attention to serious issues in a story about a flawed man who transforms his life with the help of love and family.

When we meet Pat Solitano, played by Bradley Cooper, he has had a rough year. He spent eight months in a mental institution being treated for bipolar disorder. His unfaithful wife has left him and he has no job. Pat’s endgame — to win back the love of his estranged wife — is misguided, but it gets him out of bed in the morning. It’s only after he meets Tiffany, a young widow with her own mental health issues played by Jennifer Lawrence, that Pat realizes he needs to change course. Tiffany and Pat lean on one another, celebrate small victories, and …

June 6th, 2006
Just who is the mysterious scribe behind Whispers in the Loggia, the controversial blog that Catholic power brokers can't seem to get enough of?

He is a wiry bantam rooster of a man; a ball of nervous energy with brown hair and rectangular glasses sitting atop a Roman nose. From a row home in South Philadelphia he fields emails and phone calls day and night from sources around the globe who feed him inside information on all things ecclesial: what the Vatican is saying (and what it really means), which Bishops are being moved where, who’s in and who’s out. His blog, Whispers in the Loggia, is read by a growing legion of fans that includes everyone from very prominent cardinals and Vatican bureaucrats to parish priests and lay people. His knowledge of arcane Church traditions is so thorough that the New York Times and Associated Press now use him as an expert source on Roman Catholicism.

His name is Rocco Palmo and he is 23 years old.

Yes, you read that correctly. One of the most entertaining and provocative voices on the Catholic Church today is the work of a young man just barely out of college. Don’t believe it? You’re in good company. When Whispers in the Loggia debuted 18 months ago, Palmo’s inside information and knowledge of Church traditions and …

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