What a surprise. Reuters has reported that The Vatican really doesn't like The Golden Compass. They're not the only ones, since this massive-budget film has been flopping around like a fish gasping for breath since it came out; however, they are the ones leading the religious charge. It's, obviously, not the film's cinematic shortcomings that are making waves, but rather, its religious commentary. This is the same content that was toned down by Chris Weitz in an attempt to make this a more palatable film to everyone -- as if they hadn't thought about the potential controversy when the project first came to be.

The Vatican newspaper, l'Osservatore Romano, has printed a long editorial ranting about the film, pretty much describing it as if it were an example of torture porn, rather than fantasy, calling it "the most anti-Christmas film possible," and that "when man tries to eliminate God from his horizon, everything is reduced, made sad, cold, and inhumane." These are the most religion-specific quotes coming out of Reuters' piece. The writer must be living one heck of a film-free life if this is not only the most anti-Christmas film made, but even possible! It's no surprise that they wouldn't be happy about the film, but statements like that just take the whole argument to a new level of ridiculous. It's one thing to comment on the aspects of a film that diverge from the church's beliefs. It's another to take exaggeration to new heights. Then again, we're in a world where one short peek at a nipple creates monumental fuss.