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A drama of thought-provoking depth as well as a showcase for newcomer Lea van Acken, Stations of the Cross hits hard and leaves a lingering impact.
All Critics (24)
| Top Critics (8)
| Fresh (22)
| Rotten (2)
In the end, the formalism of "Stations of the Cross" wouldn't work at all without the work of van Acken, a very talented young lady who's not only in every scene, she's often all there is to every scene.
An austere, beautifully filmed and powerfully acted portrait of extreme religious fervor that slyly flirts with comedy.
There's a purity, cinematic if not spiritual, to the way Brüggemann carefully composes each static shot, as though they all really were paintings to be arranged in succession along a line of pews.
There's more than a sneaking suspicion that the rush to preach against religious excess -- a worthy pursuit -- has merely resulted in another form of sanctimonious sermonizing.
Newcomer Van Acken is a phenomenal find and she's never less than believably torn between doing the right thing and being her own person.
The ending's a touch too cute, but the best scenes here stand as potent, empathetic, well-observed broadsides against fundamentalism.
Stations of the Cross is a quiet film, deep in content and profoundly critical of the Catholic Church's culture of repression that misguides young minds by limiting their senses and curtailing their experiences.
Stations of the Cross belongs among the decade's best films about the lengths one must go to in order to balance strong beliefs with a tolerance toward a secular world that fights against those beliefs.
While the film's craftsmanship and experimental form go some way toward mitigating the convenient plotting and confused point of view, wrapping the whole in craw-sticking sanctimony is a sin too far for forgiveness.
A spiritual movie for practicing empathy and compassion for fearful fundamentalists.
It understands that fitting in, for many contemporary youth, means standing out by attaching oneself to ideological tenets.
Dietrich Brüggemann's disturbing drama premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival and is divided into 14 parts, often pale, minimalist tableaux, for the 14 Stations of the Cross.
A thought-provoking and profoundly disturbing film that exposes the harmful side of religion and faith, directed with a noteworthy formal rigor in mostly static long takes and with a skillful mise-en-scène that underlines the overwhelming pressure that the protagonist is living under.
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