When a dead newborn is found, wrapped in bloody sheets, in the bedroom wastebasket of a young novitiate, psychiatrist Martha Livingston is called in to determine if the seemingly innocent novice, who knows nothing of sex or birth, is competent enough to stand trial for the murder of the baby. While searching for the answer that her supervisors want, Dr. Livingston finds herself inevitably drawn into searching for the truth about the baby's conception and death. Despite the lack of cooperation that she receives from her own organization and the church itself, she eventually discovers more than she may have bargained for.Written by
Actress Jane Fonda has commented on the metaphysical aspects of the 'Agnes of God' storyline: "What it forces you to do is to begin to probe how you feel about miracles, faith, innocence, about the human need to believe in things that can't be explained. These are very fundamental questions that have been debated for centuries. This film isn't going to answer them, but I think it's a good time to re-raise them in an artistic context." See more »
During the most profound scene where Agnes receives the stigmata, the audio boom is visible for at least five seconds. See more »
Young nun in a convent, so enamored with her Savior that she seems to be in a lovestruck daze, may or may not have killed an infant. Anne Bancroft is the Mother Superior, Jane Fonda is the investigating psychiatrist (every movie should have one), and Meg Tilly is the enchanting yet frustrating nun whom nobody can budge with common sense. Adapted from the kind of stage-play that doesn't go over well in high schools, "Agnes of God" (terrible title!) is sort of the flip-side to "Rosemary's Baby", an unsettling, overwrought exercise for thespians to display their range. What's amazing is that these actresses carve out interesting characterizations within the hoked-up, hysterical scenario. They can't possibly believe these goings-on, but they give it conviction, particularly Fonda, sterling as usual. Bancroft shines in one particular scene, again hoked-up, where she sneaks a cigarette; it's a cliché, but it's the relief the picture needs. Tilly is aggravatingly bright and beguiling. By the third act, the film has pretty much self-destructed, yet there's not much satisfaction in the answers given to us. **1/2 from ****
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