In 1989, Father Ellwood E. Keiser produced Romero, a riveting and morally complex portrait of El Salvador's Archbishop who was assassinated for his radical Christian views. Unfortunately, the same dramatic fire and spiritual passion is not at work in Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day Story.
Here Keiser and screenplay writer John Wells waste far too much screen time on Day's early years as a Bohemian journalist, a suffragette, and an unwed mother.
Moira Kelly does convey the protagonist's combative nature and the yearning for meaning which resulted in her surprising conversion to Catholicism. Inspired by the Catholic radicalism of Peter Maurin (Martin Sheen), Day sets up "The Catholic Worker" as a voice for the poor. She also devotes much of her time to feeding and sheltering New York City's dispossessed men, women, and children. Day says she sees the face of God in these suffering people.
Although Entertaining Angels depicts Day's clash with the Catholic ecclesiastical establishment and her attempt to conquer her own controlling nature, the film gives short shrift to her incredible struggles over the years for social justice, civil rights, and disarmament.