A newcomer to a Catholic prep high school falls in with a trio of outcast teenage girls who practice witchcraft and they all soon conjure up various spells and curses against those who even slightly anger them.
A priest from the Vatican is sent to Sao Paulo, Brazil to investigate the appearance of the face of the Virgin Mary on the side of a building. While there he hears of a statue of the Virgin Mary bleeding tears in a small town outside of the city. Meanwhile, a young woman in the U.S. begins to show signs of stigmata, the wounds of Christ. The priest from the Vatican links up with her and cares for her as she is increasingly afflicted by the stigmata. Her ranting and raving finally begins to make sense to the priest who starts to question what his religion has stood for for the last 1900 years. Written by
Jeff Mellinger <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Stigmata was a very watchable interesting film which is engaging and thought provoking. It's certainly not a perfect movie but in patches was excellent, and the mood of the film was just right. It was suprisingly "non-hollywood" in many respects and very understated if you look beyond the gore of the mutilation and stigmata scenes.
My only major gripe with the movie was the sometimes ludicrous way that characters close to Frankie (Patricia Arquette) seemed unwilling to take her seriously or believe her affliction despite the fact that they witnessed amazing supernatural events first hand. Her best mate who told her to chill out and relax because it was a Friday night, having seen this event earlier in the week, bordered on high farce. Surely all the doctors, clergy and news reporters in the world would have been at her bedside after seeing the train video camera of this event?
Anyway, this aside, many other aspects of the film were first rate and I was pleased the DVD version had the alternate and, in my opinion, better ending (subtle though the difference is). Comparisons with the Exorcist seem to cloud the opinions of many people in relation to this film, and my advice would be just to watch it and take it for what it is. The concept is quite original and the examination of faith and the modern church is interesting. Certainly I wouldn't say the film was anti-religious, in fact in many respects it adds weight to religious belief as the concept introduces the stigmata phenomenom to the audience.
Overall, very good, 7 out of 10.
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