La religieuse (The Nun) (2013)
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France, in the 1760s. Born into a bourgeois family, Suzanne (Pauline Etienne) is a beautiful young girl with a natural talent for music. Despite her faith, she is dismayed when her parents send her off to a convent, expecting her to become a nun. Suzanne first resists the rules of the convent, but soon finds out that she is an illegitimate child, leaving her no other option than to pronounce her vows and suffer the consequences of her mother's sin. Adapted from Diderot's eponymous novel, The Nun tells the story of a woman trying to resist imposed religious values, revealing the dehumanizing effect of cloistered life. … More
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Critic Reviews for La religieuse (The Nun)
Measured and sensible, The Nun lacks the full-on claustrophobic horror of a film like The Magdalene Sisters and moves through events at a matter-of-fact distance.
Pauline Etienne as the heroine is a harmonising centre, believable, luminous, quiet-spoken, poignant.
It's an affecting and frank take on the loneliness of faith as well as faithlessness, whose horrors come in odd contrast to the plush production values.
It's a generally classy yet dramatically underpowered affair traversing a steady path between respectable costume drama and habit-lifting exploitation.
Looks as tasteful as can be but, in terms of emotion, lacks any kind of finesse.
Guillaume Nicloux has, alongside Jérôme Beaujour, crafted a stately and atmospheric adaptation of Denis Diderot's novel, which is driven onwards by a powerful central female performance.
With impressive production design and a strong script, this is an engaging, well made French period drama anchored by a superb performance from Pauline Etienne, though the tone wobbles in the final act and the ending is curiously abrupt.
This Isabelle Huppert drama starts promisingly, but sadly reveals itself as a piece of hackneyed nunsploitation.
Though Etienne and Huppert are fantastic, Guillaume Nicloux's adaptation of Denis Diderot's novel is neither nunsploitation nor chamber piece, just about working as a sermon on hypocrisy.
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