The Vatican sends a priest to verify some miracles, performed by a woman who has been nominated for sainthood. During his investigation, the priest, who is experiencing a crisis of faith, re-discovers his own purpose in life.
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Jennifer Jason Leigh,
A skeptical Bishop sends a broken priest as Postulator to investigate the possible beatification of a simple, devout woman whose death caused a statue of the Virgin Mary to bleed upon and cure a girl with terminal lupus. The politically weary priest unknowingly embarks on a spiritual journey that rebuilds his shattered faith and life. Written by
Jim Norman <email@example.com>
I agree with the other commenters that this film was well acted and well filmed, but it would be nice if once in a while the media did not portray priests who are racked by doubt and disbelief, and if the Catholic hierarchy were not mean, vicious, and despicably mundane. It looks like filmmakers believe that people will not be able to take serious portrayals of faith which are not balanced by a hefty amount of cynicism and inner struggle. Of course inner struggle is a big part of faith, but there ARE people and priests out there who just go about the business of believing in God and working for the the good of humankind without excessive torment and without having to battle a blighted hierarchy. It has become a given that representations of faith must either be corny and preachy or extremely secularized. It's as if filmmakers had figured that there are only two audiences for religious themes: the feel-good believers who watch the various angels TV shows and the questioning skeptics who need heavy-duty realism. That's not true and not accurate. Religion is a complex business, but this complexity can be shown more subtly than by secularizing the priesthood to the point of disfiguring its reality and purpose.
Same goes for miracles. What is it with blood-crying statues of the Virgin anyway? If I remember correctly there was one in Stigmata as well (and in Central Station?). And, come on, there must be a less hokey way to deal with miracles than by having a little girl walk into a church all covered in blood, then turn out a junkie, then resurrect from the dead for the whole shamed bunch of priests to see. It was all very dramatic and very corny. Myself, I preferred the heavy-handed spookiness of Stigmata: at least the force of the divine was truly palpable and religion was not reduced to someone's psychological drama.
I wish someone gave Anna Heche a role in which her incredible sexiness and charisma were used a bit better than to seduce old guys and priests. That was bit of a useless side-tracking, wasn't it? Or was it a selling technique? Either way, we could have done without it.
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