On my day off last week, in between making copious cups of tea (milk and two, please) for the joiner seeing to my new utility room, I realised as the day wore on that I was not actually having a day off at all. So I decided to watch a couple of films on DVD which I got for Christmass.

The Secret of Kells is a new animated film which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animation. It tells the story of a young monk named Brendan and how the Book of Kells came to be written. It is not your usual animation – more like the sort of thing you might see if you’ve indulged in too many magic mushrooms. Quite psychadelic, if you know what I mean. Very stylised. It only lasts for 72 mins but is quite exciting and I could have done with a wee bit more. I think young children would like it but there are some scary scenes.

The Miracle of Saint Ralph is a film which promises to touch your heart, mind and soul and is as funny and uplifting as Billy Elliot. Ralph is a 14 year old whose mother is dying of cancer. His father died a hero in the war and Ralph goes to a posh Roman Catholic school on the strength of that. His mother thinks that he is staying with his friend while she is in hospital but he is, in fact, living alone in the family house hocking bits and pieces to keep himself fed and clothed. Ralph is forever getting into trouble with the Head teacher and seems to be never away from the Confessional (mostly because of impure thoughts). One day his punishment is to join the school running club and he also hears about miracles in RE. His mother slips into a coma and Ralph decides that he will run the famous Boston Marathon and win, thus finding the miracle to cure her. I enjoyed it and I laughed and yes, there was a tear in my eye at the end which might have been worse if the joiner hadn’t interrupted. (The Certificate is 12 but there are quite a few mentions of sex in the beginning.)


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