Berlin, the Romantic Era. Young poet Heinrich wishes to conquer the inevitability of death through love, yet is unable to convince his skeptical cousin Marie to join him in a suicide pact. ... See full summary »
Rita is an outcast teenager in suburban Austria, misunderstood both at school, where she's disdained by classmates, and at home, where her staunchly religious mother and temperamental ... See full summary »
A young couple marry in France in the 1940s and the film follows the arc of their marriage over the next decade. As France recovers from the trauma of the war, the wife finds herself ... See full summary »
In the summer, 27 year-old Sam drives towards the south of France in his Ford. He meets Matthieu and his sister Léa and takes them along in his apparently aimless journey. Matthieu has a ... See full summary »
Eve's husband Paul, disappears mysteriously one day and leaves behind a huge debt. As the police investigates the case, Paul's former associate Chollet offers Eve his support. Little later Chollet becomes himself a suspect.
In late 2008 it was reported that Valeria Bruni Tedeschi had been cast in the role of Christine. Some time later she dropped out and was replaced by Sylvie Testud, who had already met with the director before Bruni Tedeschi was considered. See more »
Jessica Hausner's story of a young woman who appears to be cured of MS whilst on pilgrimage to Lourdes is a patient, fluid film that moves between satire and compassion. It often exhibits a genuine empathy for the core tenets and consequent outward trappings of Catholicism. As a general examination of the Catholic faith it's accurate and probing, capturing the unavoidable selfishness and vanity of us all even in the face of our own attempts at generosity or even piety.
Yet I liked this film more because the omnipresent core of Catholicism recedes as subject. Quietly but surely, the individuals become the focus of the film. Of course, at the centre is Sylvie Testud's Christine, a marvellous performance in which intellect and emotion is in perpetual, discreet motion - but there's no self-pity and, apart from a rather dislocated intonation of standard liturgical incantations, no mention of God. Christine doesn't reject the theme park of piety revolving about her but she seems to find it a focus for a personal confrontation with her affliction. Key to the offsetting of this is a performance of equal discretion and focus, that of the genuinely pious but equally worldly Gilette Barbier as Frau Hartl, with whom Christine shares a room. The other satellite roles are all well-taken; I did like that Léa Seydoux never overdid her turn as the immature nurse assigned to Christine.
A well designed and paced film, Lourdes also has a moments of wit. It not only examines the nature of devotion but does so in the appositely Christian context of an interesting yarn. 7/10
24 of 29 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this