Juliet is a freelance writer and consultant and full-time mom. A transplant from New York City, she has lived in DC for over seven years, but still walks too fast and wears too much black.

Juliet holds a BA in media studies from Queens College (CUNY) and an MPA from the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University. She held jobs at the New York Times Syndicate, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, and Sojourners and the ONE Campaign before joining The Clapham Group as an affiliate and going out on her own as a freelancer. You can sometimes find her on Twitter or speed-walking with her son through Navy Yard and Capitol Hill.

Posts By This Author

‘Jerry & Marge Go Large’ Reimagines the Parable of the Talents

by Juliet Vedral 06-17-2022

'Jerry & Marge Go Large,' Paramount+

The question at the center of both the parable of the talents and Jerry & Marge Go Large is the same: What will you do with all you’ve been given?

‘The Bad Guys’ Know What Real Love Looks Like

by Juliet Vedral 04-26-2022

DreamWorks, ‘The Bad Guys’

The Bad Guys asks viewers to check their biases and assumptions about who is “good” and who is “bad.”

‘Lincoln's Dilemma’ Examines the Halo of the Civil War President

by Juliet Vedral 02-23-2022

'Lincoln’s Dilemma,' Apple TV+

Lincoln’s Dilemma, released this month on Apple TV+, presents a complicated version of the 16th president. The four-part series portrays Lincoln as a man of his time and place, wrestling with the culture war of his day: slavery.

When Their Son Killed Your Son, Is Forgiveness Possible?

by Juliet Vedral 10-15-2021

Jason Isaacs and Martha Plimpton in ‘Mass’ / Courtesy of Sundance Institute

What kind of parent raises a mass murderer? What would the aftermath of a school shooting be like for the parents of the child who shot his classmates and then took his own life. Unimaginable? Mass, Fran Kranz’s writing and directorial debut, immerses viewers in these questions, challenging us to consider our capacity for forgiveness.

‘The Father’ Is a Portrait of Grief and Belovedness

by Juliet Vedral 03-09-2021

Anne (Olivia Coleman) and Anthony (Anthony Hopkins) in The Father. Image courtesy of The Father on Facebook.

The film immerses us in the mind of 80-year-old Anthony (Anthony Hopkins) as he navigates the onset of dementia and his increasing dependence on his daughter, Anne (Olivia Colman). In a recent interview with Zeller, he told me the play was based on his own experience of caring for his grandmother as she battled dementia, when he was just a teenager.

‘Soul’ Takes Aim at a Culture of Nonstop Pursuit

by Juliet Vedral 12-22-2020

Image via Soul on Facebook

Pixar’s latest film Soul, opens to the sound of a Queens, New York, middle school’s band class, led by Joe Gardner, a middle-aged, aspiring jazz musician. As someone who played the trumpet in my Queens middle school’s band, the discordant, yet earnest attempt at music immediately transported me back to Mr. Stier’s classroom in I.S. 109, circa 1992. Just as in Joe’s class, the walls of Mr. Stier’s room were covered with jazz posters; he wore a ponytail and, by my memory, he also had an earring.

How One New York Community Holds Together Amid COVID-19

by Juliet Vedral 05-14-2020

Image via Father's Heart Ministries 

Much has been written about the ways in which the pandemic is exposing the fragility of our communities and the underlying vulnerabilities that were ignored. Over the years, Father’s Heart has tried to do what it can to knit the fraying margins of the neighborhood back into the whole, by reminding people of their God-given dignity and worth. But they are working against decades-long policies that have kept so many New Yorkers from accessing affordable housing and better paying jobs.

'The Two Popes' Explores the Failures, Humanity of Benedict and Francis

by Juliet Vedral 12-31-2019

Photo via 'Two Popes' trailer / Netflix

The film humanizes the two popes, while exploring their different ecclesial emphases: church as an inward-facing haven from the world or church as an outward-facing sojourner.  

Storytelling Through the 'Dark Alleys' of Trauma

by Juliet Vedral 12-04-2019
A Conversation with 'The Third Daughter' Author Talia Carner

Compassion. Curiosity. Courage. To author Talia Carner, a writer needs these three qualities to tell a good story — and they are on full display in Carner’s latest historical novel, The Third Daughter. Based on “The Man from Argentina,” and the tales of Tevye the Dairyman and his daughters by Yiddish writer Sholem Aleichem, the book tells the story of the hundreds of Jewish girls from Eastern Europe who were trafficked by the Jewish pimps union, Zwi Migdal, and brought to Argentina and Brazil in the late 19th and early 20th century.

'Skin' Shows the Power of Human Empathy

by Juliet Vedral 07-25-2019

Byron Widner played by actor Jamie Bell in Skin 

This film tells the story of Bryon Widner's exit from white supremacy and how love redeemed his life.

The Friendships and Hardships That Shaped Tolkien

by Juliet Vedral 05-08-2019
A Q&A With 'Tolkien' Filmmaker Dome Karukoski

Still from "Tolkien" film trailer 

Dome Karukoski’s Tolkien, out in theaters this Friday, focuses on another story of friendship, that of the Tea Club and Barrovian Society (TCBS) which Tolkien was a part of during his education at King Edward’s School in Birmingham. The film tells the story of Tolkien’s early life as an orphan living in poverty and at the mercy of his benefactors, and the love and friendship he finds in spite of it. Tolkien is gorgeously shot and filmed with warmth, humor, and friendship.

Justin Baldoni on Art That Helps Us 'Remember Our Shared Humanity'

by Juliet Vedral 03-13-2019

Justin Baldoni arrives for the 'Five Feet Apart' Los Angeles Premiere on March 07, 2019. Credit: Shutterstock. 

If you knew that your life here on earth would be short, how would you live it? Would you try to control every aspect of it to avoid the suffering and pain you knew was coming? Would you become angry, embittered, and push people away? Or would you try to make the most of it? These questions are at the heart of Five Feet Apart, starring Cole Sprouse and Haley Lu Richardson as two kids with cystic fibrosis (CF) who fall in love. The film is actor (Jane the Virgin) and filmmaker ( My Last Days) Justin Baldoni’s feature film debut.

New 'Catechism' Takes on How the Church Talks About Singleness

by Juliet Vedral 03-11-2019

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash.

Alicia Akins, a writer based in Washington, D.C., decided to take some of the most painful questions single women seeking marriage ask and seek answers for in scripture. Her ‘Single Ladies Catechism’ consists of 31 questions, one for each day of the month, with answers rooted in the Bible.

'Can a Mother Forget the Baby at Her Breast?'

by Juliet Vedral 03-01-2019
What Being a Mom Taught Me About God's Sufficiency

There’s no way I could imagine forgetting this baby nursing at my breast. Not only wouldn’t my body allow me that, feeding my son wasn’t an obligation or a duty. It was a time I looked forward to with joy. Even those middle of the night wake-ups were still one more opportunity to snuggle that sweet little boy.

How Foster Care Gave Director Sean Anders an 'Instant Family'

by Juliet Vedral 11-14-2018

When I was 7 years old, my family began fostering babies. Often these kids would be placed with us after being abandoned just days after they were born. Many of them were never even given a name before their mothers left them at the hospital. When I was about 9 years old, we took in a little boy and his newborn sister. My family eventually adopted them. So, when I screened "Instant Family," starring Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne, so many aspects of the movie rang true: The way the foster children acted out, their desire to be with both their birth mother and their foster parents, and how other people reacted to their family. But what also rang true, and it is a story not often told, is how the kids in foster care are not solely defined by their trauma or their status as “foster kids.”

What Happened After Evangelicals Kissed Dating Goodbye

by Juliet Vedral 11-07-2018
Responses to Author Joshua Harris' Apology

After the statement was released, I put out a call on Facebook for people to share whether or how I Kissed Dating Goodbye affected their experiences with dating, marriage, and sex. Reading through these comments and PMs was heartbreaking as most of the respondents had highly negative replies. Most of the people who responded expressed how the purity movement in general and the book in particular warped their views of dating, marriage, and themselves.

'Camp Manna' Humorously Portrays the Antics of Christian Summer Camp

by Juliet Vedral 08-23-2018
Camp Manna

campmannathemovie.com 

Camp Manna is the story about Ian, a young orphaned boy who doesn’t believe in Jesus. He is sent to Camp Manna, a Christian camp led by Jack “Cujo” Parrish (Gary Busey). Once there, he’s placed in a cabin of misfits and forced to participate in the God Games, a camp-wide competition. Antics invariably ensue.

Wim Wenders on Pope Francis: 'He Lives What He Preaches'

by Juliet Vedral 05-17-2018

Director Wim Wenders with Pope Francis. Image via @ThePopeMovie.

"Pope Francis has an enormous capacity to communicate. His words are simple, but clear, and from the heart. He has a great presence that comes from his honesty, his humility, his sense of humor, and his courage."

Mari Andrew on the 'Zigzagging Journey' of Trauma, Faith, and Art

by Juliet Vedral 05-02-2018

Image via @ByMariAndrew

"It’s very easy for people to say, 'This will make you stronger,' or even, 'You’re strong already, you’ll get through this.' But that’s just not really the whole story." 

Ira Glass on the Compassionate Realism of 'Come Sunday'

by Juliet Vedral 04-13-2018

Image via Netflix.

"The Carlton story was appealing partly because it's just an amazing story about a man standing up for what he believes in, and then he just loses everything. It's a very old-fashioned kind of cinematic story. Then it was exciting that the entire story takes place in the church. There aren't outsiders at all. It's evangelicals talking to other evangelicals."