The Holy Girl (2005)
Critic Consensus: This provocative, lyrical drama mixes themes of forbidden sexuality and redemptive faith with a touch of humanism in a memorable, if disorienting, visual style.
A chance encounter between Amalia and Dr Jano, who is attending a medical conference at the hotel, allows the young girl to at last find her vocation -- to save a man from sin.
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Critic Reviews for The Holy Girl
Director Lucrecia Martel's storytelling is spare to the point of being stingy.
Martel's style is tentative, elusive, so much so that even the most conventional episodes benefit from her fresh perspective.
Ultimately turns out to be something of a bore, a film that, like one of its main characters, wanders around touching on subjects and then fleeing before connecting fully.
Audience Reviews for The Holy Girl
Whereas in La Ciénaga Martel was always able to maintain a tight structure and focus even with a huge gallery of characters, in this case her notably flawed narrative - despite her usual social commentary and a promising premise - lacks cohesion and seems to go nowhere.
"The Holy Girl" is one of the most boring films I've ever seen. Set in a hotel during a doctors' conference, it chronicles myriad banalities such as people having lunch together silently. Then we watch maids doing laundry. Then the children of hotel employees take religion classes together. Then teenage girls wash their hair, etc. One banal sequence after another.
One girl who lives at the hotel starts to have feelings of longing for one of the doctors at the conference after he touches her in a provocative way one day. She starts following him around the hotel, and he tries to avoid her. The girl's mother also develops a mild crush on this doctor, which is hard to understand because he barely ever speaks or does anything interesting. Almost no one says anything interesting. There is practically no script at all.
I cannot understand what writer/director Lucrecia Martel thought was so interesting about all these banalities. Her most recent film, "The Headless Woman," was vastly more interesting. By contrast, "The Holy Girl" has almost no content whatsoever. This is a must-avoid.
[font=Century Gothic]In "The Holy Girl", Helena(Mercedes Moran), a divorcee with a teenaged daughter, Amalia(Maria Alche), works at a hotel hosting a convention of doctors. Amalia is so devout it occasionally spooks her mother, and is wondering how best she can serve Christ. An opportunity presents itself when one of the doctors at the hotel, Dr. Jano(Carlos Bellos), fondles Amalia at an outdoor musical performance. Instead of confronting or reporting him, this only serves to pique Amalia's curiosity...[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"The Holy Girl" is an unconventional movie that takes a low-key approach to potentially controversial material. It is a meditation on duality.(Would it be too much of a stretch to point out that Janus was the Roman god represented by two faces?) Amalia is very religious; wants to wait until marriage before having sex but still has physical longings. Dr. Jano is a respected doctor and family man but is also quite the pervert.(And he is not the only doctor to behave differently away from home.)[/font]
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