That was my favorite line in the movie.
That was a great line. That touched me very much about people's endurance, the sense of trust, betrayal, struggle, how hard it is for people to relate to one another. And her boss, where to his credit, where another human being would've washed his hands of her, had a sense of participation and engagement, even when they were yelling at each other, that we're in life together. It is a film about the nature of love, the nature of integrity, what it is to be authentic.

Another thing that surprised me was this money business. You know, spiritual people often demonize money. Usually you get sleazy lawyers with all these big settlements and so on, but you felt in this case that the settlement was just. I certainly didn't begrudge any of them the money, and I was surprised at myself for feeling quite generous about that.

Every time I hear about tragedies involving companies like PG&E, I'm shocked that these crimes happen and the truth doesn't come out until a whistleblower comes forward.
The first reaction is how unreliable the cosmos is, and then that you can't trust the justice system. It may be my moral-ordered world in my head, but I'm shocked there weren't criminal charges. What happened was criminal, and all one got was a settlement! Perhaps it would be better if I were cynical. I become rather dispairing. I said to one lawyer friend of mine that I think the Department of Justice ought to become the Department of Law, and he said, `No, you've got to have something to aspire to.' It's interesting when you evaluate a movie, that it actually starts a conversation with yourself about yourself. How would you be in that situation, what do you believe about life, whether you're an optimist or a pessimist.

Definitely. Erin's boss didn't seem like a quitter, but when he said, `I'm running out of money here, I'm ready to quit,' I thought, if I owned that law practice, I would think the smartest thing would be to give up.
I think life without risk is no life at all. It's like faith. You've got to jump into the pool, but it would be a great idea to check that there's water in it first. You take risks that you've thought through. And you say, well I may lose, but it's better to be fully alive than not. Do we trust life or don't we trust life. Is the universe on our side or isn't it? Or is it indifferent? Or is it a stupid question even to ask.

Beliefnet at the Oscars

Rev. Jerry Falwell on 'Gladiator'

Rabbi Lawrence Kushner on 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon'

Buddhist scholar Robert Thurman on 'Traffic'

Wiccan priestess Margot Adler on 'Chocolat'

The 73rd Academy Award nomineesDiscuss: Which movie has deepened your spirituality?

Also: 'Chocolat' leaves a bitter aftertaste

Oscar's Unspiritual Year

She said yes to life. In spite of all her difficulties, she's engaged, she's participating, she's a player. And I think that's the faith question: are you a participant or you a spectator? Are you going to risk or are you going to stand on the sidelines? And then you can get to questions of God and all those more theological questions. Is it good to be alive? Do you feel grateful even when life is hell?

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