Avril is a novice in a convent of "Baptistine" sisters, a monastic order which was officially dissolved by the end of the nineteenth century but that is kept alive by Mère Marie Joseph, the...
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Avril is a novice in a convent of "Baptistine" sisters, a monastic order which was officially dissolved by the end of the nineteenth century but that is kept alive by Mère Marie Joseph, the sadistic superior. The rule she imposes on the nuns is particularly strict but this is all Avril has ever known since she was born, for she was an abandoned child raised by the nuns with a view to making one of them. While Avril is on retreat, locked in for a fortnight in a chapel prior to taking her vows, Soeur Bernadette, a sympathetic sister, discloses a secret to her: she has a twin brother and she encourages her to go looking for him... Written by
Speaking of modernity ,the starting point of the movie takes us back to the old melodramas of the nineteenth century ;some French may remember "Les Deux Orphelines " by Adolphe D'Ennery (aka "Orphans of the storm" ).Of course the treatment is different since the two fraternal twins (they can't be identical can they?) meet in the first quarter .Such a story is hardly believable,as an user has already pointed out:how can a girl ,who was "carefully" taught,educated in a nunnery ,surrounded by holy women, adapt herself so easily to the "modern" world she discovers?I'm sure she was never told gays existed .Was she even told that she could marry instead of becoming a nun?That her brother can sleep with another man doesn't shock her at all : people are going to say it is the natural tolerance of the clueless girl;perhaps so.Clement Sibony (who was a good Daniel in "Les Thibault" miniseries ) gives a down-to-earth portrayal,which is quite fine,cause I feared that the scenes on the beach could lead the movie into Neo Nouvelle Vague territory Eric Rohmer style,but the quartet is nice and has something of the odd pairings of John Huston (as a "Heaven knows mister Allison " for twenty-somethings).
A question:WHEN does it takes place? The young man in love with Avril says he loves late fifties/early sixties music -Orbison,Presley,Holly- and he plays an Annette Funicello -who ,however,was rather unknown in France - song in his car.Later we see the boys teach Avril Christophe's big hit "Aline" (1965,but which was re-issued in the eighties with success );and twin brother uses a slot-in record player ,which is typically early eighties.Even for a French ,it's difficult to pinpoint the era.
Miou-Miou cast as a nun is something rather curious and is worth the price of admission.But Genevieve Casile 's part of the mother superior is too underwritten to be credible "She wanted you to be a saint" is not enough to explain her behavior.
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