Happy New Year! Recently, my brother Jay and I recorded our “Favorite Films of 2019” episode for Saints and Cinema. It is not really a best-of (though we thought the films were pretty good), because we have not seen everything put out last year. We are not the Golden Globes or the Academy Awards or paid film critics. We see a lot of movies, but we are limited (it should go without saying) to what we have time to see.

Last week, Christians around the world celebrated the birth of Jesus. Born in a humble place, to a young maiden and a carpenter, the promised Messiah became flesh to live among us. Over 2,000 years later, the world continues to rejoice every year as the Church recalls what happened that day in the town of Bethlehem. A glorious occasion, Christmas Day is surpassed only by the events of Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

I am always interested in films that involve pastors, whether the pastors are good or bad. Because this is something I know from the inside out, it is not hard to tell whether or not the filmmaker actually knows what he or she is doing in writing or casting the character. Phillip Youmans knows what he is doing in Burning Cane (2019; streaming on Netflix).