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.
Fine, lush-looking, understated 2016 wartime drama from veteran Jim Sheridan...Perfect arthouse fare, this.
This is a honourable film that has hits and misses. Watch it for the performances, particularly Redgrave's. Its most telling line is this: Bravery in the face of the enemy
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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