An F.B.I. Agent persuades a social worker, who is adept with a new experimental technology, to enter the mind of a comatose serial killer in order to learn where he has hidden his latest kidnap victim.
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>
When Frankie talks with Andrew by first time in the coffee shop, Frankie states that she's 23 years old. Patricia Arquette was 8 years older at the point of the movie. See more »
Early on when Kiernan first meets Frankie in a club, she run out back into an alley between multiple buildings and starts having a major attack, with wind, pigeons, and sound effects. Clearly visible are boom mikes and cabling, particularly when the camera zooms out. See more »
In the mentioned alternate ending, after Frankie dies, we see also an alternate, extended shot of Father Kiernan discovering the secret scrolls, in it he also places a picture of Frankie in front of the statue. The ending text about the scrolls is intact. See more »
Patricia Arquette plays Frankie Paige, a trendy, alternative young woman who lives on her own in a massive Pittsburgh loft apartment decorated with all manner of cool, designer furniture and ornaments. And she's a hairdresser in a beauty parlour/tattoo studio. If you can swallow that, then you should have no problem with the film's supernatural storyline, which sees Frankie displaying signs of the stigmata after becoming possessed by the spirit of a dead priest who is determined to reveal the secrets of a 5th gospel written by Jesus himself immediately before his crucifixion.
Stigmata is a reasonably entertaining piece of religious horror nonsense thanks to fine performances from its excellent lead cast, which also includes Gabriel Byrne as miracle debunking priest Father Andrew Kiernan, and Jonathan Pryce as a Vatican Cardinal trying to protect the Catholic church at all costs. What prevents the film from being a more successful affair is the distracting style of director Rupert Wainwright, who conducts proceedings as if he was making a music video for MTV. Yes, the visuals are aesthetically impressive, with stunning lighting and some flashy editing, but they don't suit the material and prove very distracting.
After much thrashing around by Arquette as she suffers the stigmata wounds amidst dripping water, flapping doves and shafts of blue light, and some weak Exorcist-style possession scenes, the film wraps things up nicely with the message that you don't need churches to worship God, for he is everywhere. Oh, and the notion that the Catholic church is a massively corrupt organisation heavily involved in all manner of conspiracies. Nothing new there then.
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