7.5/10
679
8 user 13 critic

Thérèse (1986)

The life of little St. Therese of Lisieux, depicted in minimalist vignettes. Therese and her sisters are all nuns in a Carmelite convent. Her devotion to Jesus and her concept of "the ... See full summary »

Director:

Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

9 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

St. Vincent de Paul struggles to bring about peace and harmony among the peasant and the nobles in the midst of the Black Death in Europe, carrying on his charitable work in the face of all obstacles.

Director: Maurice Cloche
Stars: Pierre Fresnay, Aimé Clariond, Jean Debucourt
Francesco (1989)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Docudrama about the life of St-Francis of Assisi

Director: Liliana Cavani
Stars: Mickey Rourke, Helena Bonham Carter, Andréa Ferréol
Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The film dramatizes about a dozen vignettes from the life of St. Francis and his early followers - starting with their return in the rain to Rivotorlo from Rome when the Pope blessed their ... See full summary »

Director: Roberto Rossellini
Stars: Aldo Fabrizi, Gianfranco Bellini, Peparuolo
Padre Pio (TV Movie 2000)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The poor Italian peasant boy Francesco already has visions of Jesus and Mary as a child, but the Devil visits him too. He, Francesco, is quite certain that he will become a priest. After ... See full summary »

Director: Carlo Carlei
Stars: Sergio Castellitto, Jürgen Prochnow, Lorenza Indovina
Faustyna (1994)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Director: Jerzy Lukaszewicz
Stars: Dorota Segda, Danuta Szaflarska, Agnieszka Czekanska
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In 17th century Italy, a simple and clumsy young man joins a Franciscan order, pursues full priesthood and performs a miracle that eventually ensures his sainthood.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Maximilian Schell, Ricardo Montalban, Lea Padovani
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The mesmerizing story of a young girl's romance with God. Her faith, trials, and sacrifices reveal a way of life based on love and simplicity. A contemplative film based on the true story ... See full summary »

Director: Leonardo Defilippis
Stars: Lindsay Younce, Leonardo Defilippis, Patti Defillipis
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A part of Joan of Arc's life. At the beginning, Jeanne (Joan) has already left Domremy, she is trying to convince a captain to escort her to the Dauphin. It ends during Jeanne's first ... See full summary »

Director: Jacques Rivette
Stars: Tatiana Moukhine, Sandrine Bonnaire, Jean-Marie Richier
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A car dealer, well-to-do and with a beautiful wife, finds himself attracted to his rather plain new temporary secretary. Despite her own commitments she feels the same and the two soon ... See full summary »

Director: Bertrand Blier
Stars: Gérard Depardieu, Josiane Balasko, Carole Bouquet
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In 1858 France, Bernadette, an adolescent peasant girl, has a vision of "a beautiful lady" in the city dump. She never claims it to be anything other than this, but the townspeople all ... See full summary »

Director: Henry King
Stars: Jennifer Jones, Charles Bickford, William Eythe
Uranus (1990)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After World War II, a small French village struggles to put the war behind as the controlling Communist Party tries to flush out Petain loyalists. The local bar owner, a simple man who ... See full summary »

Director: Claude Berri
Stars: Philippe Noiret, Gérard Depardieu, Michel Blanc
Short | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Simon, a deeply religious man living in the 4th century, wants to be nearer to God so he climbs a column. The Devil wants him come down to Earth and is trying to seduce him.

Director: Luis Buñuel
Stars: Silvia Pinal, Claudio Brook, Enrique Álvarez Félix
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Thérèse
Hélène Alexandridis ...
Lucie
Aurore Prieto ...
Céline
Clémence Massart-Weit ...
Prioress (as Clémence Massart)
Sylvie Habault ...
Pauline
Nathalie Bernart ...
Aimes
Mona Heftre ...
Marie - une religiause (as Ghislaine Mona)
Beatrice De Vigan ...
Singer
Jean Pélégri ...
The father
Pierre Baillot
Pierre Maintigneux ...
Convent Doctor
Jean Pieuchot ...
The Bishop
Guy Faucon ...
Aimee's Fiancé
Armand Meppiel ...
The Pope
Joël Lefrançois ...
The Young Doctor
Edit

Storyline

The life of little St. Therese of Lisieux, depicted in minimalist vignettes. Therese and her sisters are all nuns in a Carmelite convent. Her devotion to Jesus and her concept of "the little way" to God are shown clearly, using plain modern language. A sense of angelic simplicity comes across without fancy lights, choirs, or showy miracles. Written by Molly Malloy

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

carmelite | nun | convent | priest | pope | See All (12) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 December 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Thérèse  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

French visa # 60947 delivered on 17-7-1986. See more »

Connections

Version of La vie miraculeuse de Thérèse Martin (1930) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Stark, raw, but incomplete
1 March 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

As an avid reader of St. Therese's writings myself, I thought I'd explore the available film portrayals about her life. This movie is quite literally a "screen play," quite obviously filmed on a soundstage with most of the scenes framed in front of gray backdrops. The colorless backgrounds cause one to focus more on the expressions and mannerisms of the characters, and also allow one to experience the richness of the sound (though many sound effects, such as that of a cat eating raw fish, are not exactly pleasing). In addition, the narrative basically stays true to the main events of Therese's life. Life in the convent was tough and exacting, and the stark manner in which it is portrayed gets that point across very effectively.

In spite of these strengths, the movie has its weaknesses and it does not (in my opinion) give a complete picture of Therese. One aspect of Therese that it does not do a good job of showing is her great intelligence, which really shines through when one reads her writings. Therese in this movie often seems to be a female counterpart of Gomer Pyle, a sort of dimwitted young Sister who smiles at the sufferings Jesus throws her way in much the same way that Gomer might smile after receiving a butt-chewing from Sgt. Carter. Her keen mental prowess is seen mainly in the first few scenes of the movie as she plots to save the souls of sinners and to gain entrance to the convent--once entering the convent, one gets the sense that Therese is nothing if not witless.

While portraying the mortification of the flesh that Therese practiced as a Carmelite (e.g. by wearing a cross close to her chest that had nails in the back of it), the movie does not show other important aspects of Therese's convent life that are less jarring but more important to understanding her philosophy. For example, one hardly sees Therese's "little way," the constant small sacrifices that she made for her Carmelite sisters on a daily basis that went largely unnoticed during her lifetime. The movie tends to dwell too much on those aspects of Carmelite tradition (and of Therese's life) that are more jarring to modern sensibilities and less on aspects of her life that might be perceived as more admirable. For example, one doesn't see that Therese was a prolific writer for her entire adult life (which she was, churning out enough letters, poems, prayers, and plays over nine years to fill several books--not to mention her autobiography). Therese was also a strong and exacting leader, put in charge of the novices for a few years toward the end of her life; in the movie she is portrayed as more of a servile follower.

The movie, while not overtly taking sides as to the veracity of Therese's faith, does seem to view the 19th century nunnery through a late 20th-century lens by portraying things that would not have been discussed if they ever had happened. For example, one nun seems to have (barely) repressed lesbian tendencies While another appears to be a man who has managed to pass as a sister. While titillating the imaginations of moviegoers by throwing in a bit of scandal, these anecdotes do little to help us understand who Therese really was.

Perhaps a 90-120 minute movie can never give total balance to any person, but the Therese that is portrayed in this movie is not the same sharp, tough-yet-sentimental figure whom I met in her writing. As a piece of cinematography, though, it does have its own strengths and should not be passed up solely because of the weaknesses I have outlined.


1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?