Not of This World Reviews
January 7, 2012
Interesting introspective character study of individuals at one of life's crossroads: "I may be unhappy with my life, there's some vague uneasiness ... yet I alone have made the choices that brought me here ... now what?" An adult movie about adulthood set when a nun finds a newborn baby abandoned in the local park.
April 13, 2012
Everyone begins on a broad road of possibilities, but as one ages, the choices dwindle and the path gets narrower. When I was young, I could not fully grasp how we have to make lifetime commitments. How do you know what you want to be for life? As I grew, I viewed the age-old question differently for isn't really a matter of certainty, but that of wisdom and faith.
Take the protagonist of the Italian drama "Not of This World" for example. Sister Caterina, beautiful and intelligent, is happy on becoming a nun. But when she is handed an abandoned infant to take care of, two internal forces kick in - her maternal instinct and her doubts about her lifetime profession. Her spiritual questioning is not obvious at first, but people around her are constantly bringing it up. It is a curiosity that permeates the movie as to why this woman would want to become a nun.
I think what gravitates you towards to Sister Caterina is that she's wise, nice, and all-around admirable. It seems that she's got it together. And even when her doubts make her pause, her heart is resolute. And when she is certain, she has no hint of crazy. She seems perfect but Margherita Buy, who won Best Actress (Italy) for the role, illuminates her as credibly human. She gives a beautiful nuanced performance.
It would be best to view the movie as a character study. I like that the characters aren't sometimes talking and silently reflect their inner thoughts. While there is a certain mystery to what the characters withhold, the plot is fairly straightforward. The ending is predictable even if the movie teases some alternate possibilities. But like life, what matters is not about the destination but the journey itself. And Sister Caterina's baby steps to a spiritual discovery is one emotional home run.