The Magdalene Sisters Reviews

  • Jul 09, 2019

    A heart breaking film. Very well acted. The low budget kept me from giving it a 5 star film. But never the less a truly great movie

    A heart breaking film. Very well acted. The low budget kept me from giving it a 5 star film. But never the less a truly great movie

  • Mar 04, 2019

    Peter Mullan's (2002) film is based primarily upon the TV documentary 'Sex in a Cold Climate' by Steve Humphries which was first aired on RTE (Ireland) and BBC (England) in 1998. The documentary records the recollections of four Irish women who spent their youth and a good proportion of their adult lives as involuntary guests of uncompromising Roman Catholic nuns. The film is set in a particular example of this institution which, somewhat akin to the English workhouses of the late 19th and early 20th century, became established in Ireland after the Second World War. The Magdelene Laundries took their name from the biblical figure of Mary Magdalene, a 'fallen woman' whom Christ befriended. We join the main heroines of the movie - Margarette (Anne-Marie Duff), Bernadette (Norah-Jane Noone), Rose (Dorothy Duffy) and Crispina (Eileen Walsh) in cameo as their entrance scholarships for the Magdelene Laundry are being sat. What's most uncomfortable about this part of the movie, is trying to work out what's going on. Trying to work out what it is that's being whispered and what will be the upshot of it, and why. At first, it seems like the soundtrack of the film and the contrast have failed. But before long, it becomes obvious that the soundtrack of the film and the contrast have succeeded. The dark and deafening silence surrounding the circumstances under which these young women are being consigned to the unwelcome stewardship of the Magdalene Sisters comes through loud and muted. We follow their induction into the laundry by Sister Bridget (Geraldine McEwan), ably assisted by the Sisters Jude (Frances Healy), Clemantine (Eithne McGuinness) and Augusta (Phyllis MacMahon) who contrive with formally celibate gentlemen like Father Fitzroy (Daniel Costello) to represent a world in which God's greatest ideal is achieved through punishment and penitence. As the film progresses, we begin to understand why it is no accident that these institutions should have been laundries. They could - after all - have been bakeries, dairies, canneries or places where mailbags are sewn. With every garment that passes through the process, unmentionable filth is cleansed - if the Sisters are to be believed. And if the Sisters are to be believed, the sins of the teenagers and the route to Heaven is bound up in hot water, salt and flagellation. And as we follow these unsaintly girls on their hapless journey, we finally learn that salvation is as straightforward as a letter we are not privileged to read and a brother who arrives with a suitcase - as if there is anything that anybody could possibly want to carry away from a place like this. This film is a powerful elegy to the suffering of these unfortunate girls who, constrained to silence for so long, have finally found a voice.

    Peter Mullan's (2002) film is based primarily upon the TV documentary 'Sex in a Cold Climate' by Steve Humphries which was first aired on RTE (Ireland) and BBC (England) in 1998. The documentary records the recollections of four Irish women who spent their youth and a good proportion of their adult lives as involuntary guests of uncompromising Roman Catholic nuns. The film is set in a particular example of this institution which, somewhat akin to the English workhouses of the late 19th and early 20th century, became established in Ireland after the Second World War. The Magdelene Laundries took their name from the biblical figure of Mary Magdalene, a 'fallen woman' whom Christ befriended. We join the main heroines of the movie - Margarette (Anne-Marie Duff), Bernadette (Norah-Jane Noone), Rose (Dorothy Duffy) and Crispina (Eileen Walsh) in cameo as their entrance scholarships for the Magdelene Laundry are being sat. What's most uncomfortable about this part of the movie, is trying to work out what's going on. Trying to work out what it is that's being whispered and what will be the upshot of it, and why. At first, it seems like the soundtrack of the film and the contrast have failed. But before long, it becomes obvious that the soundtrack of the film and the contrast have succeeded. The dark and deafening silence surrounding the circumstances under which these young women are being consigned to the unwelcome stewardship of the Magdalene Sisters comes through loud and muted. We follow their induction into the laundry by Sister Bridget (Geraldine McEwan), ably assisted by the Sisters Jude (Frances Healy), Clemantine (Eithne McGuinness) and Augusta (Phyllis MacMahon) who contrive with formally celibate gentlemen like Father Fitzroy (Daniel Costello) to represent a world in which God's greatest ideal is achieved through punishment and penitence. As the film progresses, we begin to understand why it is no accident that these institutions should have been laundries. They could - after all - have been bakeries, dairies, canneries or places where mailbags are sewn. With every garment that passes through the process, unmentionable filth is cleansed - if the Sisters are to be believed. And if the Sisters are to be believed, the sins of the teenagers and the route to Heaven is bound up in hot water, salt and flagellation. And as we follow these unsaintly girls on their hapless journey, we finally learn that salvation is as straightforward as a letter we are not privileged to read and a brother who arrives with a suitcase - as if there is anything that anybody could possibly want to carry away from a place like this. This film is a powerful elegy to the suffering of these unfortunate girls who, constrained to silence for so long, have finally found a voice.

  • Sep 13, 2018

    Film that reveals a reality often intentionally forgotten by a church poor in sanctity. Unfortunately, even today, these themes are very current in a church that is less and less close to the teachings of Christ (sexual scandals and pedophilia).

    Film that reveals a reality often intentionally forgotten by a church poor in sanctity. Unfortunately, even today, these themes are very current in a church that is less and less close to the teachings of Christ (sexual scandals and pedophilia).

  • Aug 16, 2018

    An interesting true story that is well performed and executed. Made me read into the events that happened with these girls

    An interesting true story that is well performed and executed. Made me read into the events that happened with these girls

  • Apr 21, 2018

    Not an exciting film. Skip the film and read about this crazy place.

    Not an exciting film. Skip the film and read about this crazy place.

  • Mar 06, 2018

    Truths about a tragic ireland

    Truths about a tragic ireland

  • Apr 29, 2017

    Movie about teenage girls sent away to boarding school in the 1960's for being immoral. Poorly done all the way around. Direction, acting, script. I hated it.

    Movie about teenage girls sent away to boarding school in the 1960's for being immoral. Poorly done all the way around. Direction, acting, script. I hated it.

  • Sep 21, 2016

    7.9/10, my review: http://wp.me/p1eXom-2AJ

    7.9/10, my review: http://wp.me/p1eXom-2AJ

  • Apr 24, 2016

    Shocking as its based on the truth.

    Shocking as its based on the truth.

  • Mar 20, 2016

    Moving and disturbing story about the actions of a society and church abusing powerless young women.

    Moving and disturbing story about the actions of a society and church abusing powerless young women.