In fourteenth-century England, peasant girl Christine Carpenter is so attracted to a statue of the Virgin Mary that the local priest (who lusts after her) suggests she be walled up in the ...
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In fourteenth-century England, peasant girl Christine Carpenter is so attracted to a statue of the Virgin Mary that the local priest (who lusts after her) suggests she be walled up in the church as an anchoress, a holy woman with responsibility for blessing the villagers. But when the priest has Christine's mother tried as a witch, she digs herself out of her cell, a crime for which the punishment is death... Written by
Michael Brooke <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Christine and Meg are decorating the Virgin Mary with apples, they go up a ladder, which clearly ends on a small ledge inside the church. Cut scenes then indicate that the ladder actually leads to the top of an apple tree somewhere outside. See more »
Exquisitely spare cinematography and striking visuals which ape Andrei Tarkovsky's ANDREI RUBLEV cannot save this medieval tale from being a disappointment. English director Chris Newby's first feature is a dismally muddled array of images of life in a remote 14th-century village.
Talented young thespian Natalie Morse (of Peter GreenawayÕs DROWNING BY NUMBERS) nevertheless succeeds in her tricky role as Christine Carpenter, a girl touched by transcendent grace, who succumbs to the misguided religious authority of the times and becomes an anchoress, a virgin who is walled up in a chamber in the church, to serve as a moral beacon for the villagers.
This makes the snickering local priest (Christopher Eccleston) overjoyed, as he takes her away from the Reeve (Eugene Bervoets, of the original French-Dutch production of THE VANISHING), the local military power monger. She is periodically visited by her surly pagan mother (English new-wave personality Toyah Wilcox) and pretty much ignored by her father, who is played by Pete Postlethwaite.
The only real power in the film is in the scenes with Christine alone, discovering her sensuality. The rest of the film is a mess, partly due to the confusing, overly obscure script, which hardly lets the audience know what's going on without benefit of reading a plot synopsis beforehand. It purports to observe the female condition through the ages, but ends up being mostly uninsightful and boring.
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