Paradise: Faith (2013)
Average Rating: 6.4/10
Reviews Counted: 34
Fresh: 25 | Rotten: 9
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 5.8/10
Critic Reviews: 11
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 4
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 634
In "PARADISE: Faith" Ulrich Seidl explores what it means to bear the cross. For Anna Maria, an X-ray technician, paradise lies with Jesus. She devotes her vacation to missionary work, so that Austria may be brought back to the path of virtue. On her daily pilgrimage through Vienna, she goes from door to door, carrying a foot-high statue of the Virgin Mary. One day, after years of absence, her husband, an Egyptian Muslim confined to a wheelchair, comes home. Hymns and prayers are now joined by
Aug 23, 2013 Limited
Oct 21, 2013
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Much like his fellow Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke, Seidl knows how to keep his audience captivated while rattling us with a discomfiting precision.
Scenes are dramatic without a hint of melodrama, so when a flash of intensity does occur, it does so out of nowhere and registers even more powerfully.
Now, here's the trilogy's second installment, in which the jolly Austrian makes it clear that women of a certain age do not have his permission to overdo it with religion, either.
A brutal, unflinching, anxiety-inducing, almost unbearably hard to watch film.
With little room to feel for or even understand Anna Maria, "Paradise: Faith" rarely seems more than high art with low intentions.
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As a vision of exploitation, it's almost insultingly simple, but Seidl deepens it with a story that respects the human neediness of his heroine.
There just isn't two hours' worth of movie here, especially considering that Seidl has previously addressed some of the same ideas in his religious documentary Jesus, You Know.
Using the same script-free approach and mix of pros and first-time actors...that's marked his work so far, it's confrontational, abrasive stuff, both in form and content.
Seidl's lack of compassion through all this turns Anna Marie into a kind of sad clown (is that the reason Seidl dedicated the film to Max Linder?).
A shallow film that leaves us knowing exactly what we're seeing, and able to predict what the characters will say to each other in the mostly uninspired and overtly familiar dialogue.
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