The Secret Scripture (2017)
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Critic Reviews for The Secret Scripture
Goes from a fairly forgettable romantic drama into a full-tilt fiasco.
Disjointed and disinterested in entertaining any and all prospective viewers, the overlong slab of melodrama is one of the most vanilla experiences at the movies in quite some time.
It doesn't take too long for Jim Sheridan's period romance "The Secret Scripture" to contort itself into a befuddlingly bungled mess. But at the outset, it seems to have everything going for it.
In even the smallest expressions of this freedom, whether it's a rare grin from Mara or Redgrave playing a few bars of "Moonlight Sonata," "The Secret Scripture" soars.
On a positive note, Rooney Mara is a very talented actress and is as captivating as ever in the film - Bana and Redgrave also do their best with the material, but the strong cast is not enough to rescue this dud of an adaptation from Sheridan.
Audience Reviews for The Secret Scripture
A depiction of the cruelty dealt to a young woman by the religious hierarchy in 20th century Ireland, this screenplay contained too much romanticism to be a thorough indictment of such practices, but the mighty performance of Vanessa Redgrave pushes the excuses to the sidelines. The message is sympathy for the woman Rose, though the film wanted to reconcile the two. Redgrave is fearless, every moment is considered, overflowing with significance. She challenges the reality - including the film's generosity to the church. Only an actor of Redgrave's power could do it. The film is a lesson in the differences between the acting of Redgrave, and the requirements of modern stardom, where the lead actor may often have to be less the true focus than a neutral point around whom the production revolves. This is a deeply touching story, but not as savagely true as say The Magdalen Sisters. Some in the audience may have to keep deciding whose side they are on: it is a power struggle between Redgrave's lead and the production, which she wins - just. An opportunity to watch Redgrave at her brave and fiery best, driving home against the odds the point that what happened to Rose was not, and never would be, all right.
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