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19 user 22 critic

The Letters (2014)

PG | | Drama | 4 December 2015 (USA)
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A drama that explores the life of Mother Teresa through letters she wrote to her longtime friend and spiritual advisor, Father Celeste van Exem over a nearly 50-year period.

Director:

William Riead

Writer:

William Riead
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Juliet Stevenson ... Mother Teresa
Max von Sydow ... Father Celeste van Exem
Rutger Hauer ... Father Bejamin Praagh
Priya Darshini Priya Darshini ... Shubashini Das
Kranti Redkar ... Deepa Ambereesh
Aapo Pukk Aapo Pukk ... (Young) Fr. van Exem
Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal ... Mother General (as Mahabanoo Kotwal)
Kaizaad Kotwal Kaizaad Kotwal ... Archbishop Perrier
Vijay Maurya ... Maharaj Singh (as Maurya Vijaykumar Lalji)
Tillotama Shome ... Kavitha Singh
Mark Bennington ... Graham Widdecombe
Vivek Gomber Vivek Gomber ... Ashwani Sharma
Pravishi Das Pravishi Das ... Dinsha Sahu
Deepak Dadhwal Deepak Dadhwal ... Nicholas Gomes (as Deepak Dhadwal)
Rajendra Gupta Rajendra Gupta ... Atal Rajendra Singhji
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Storyline

Mother Teresa (Juliet Stevenson), recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, is considered one of the greatest humanitarians of modern times. Her selfless commitment changed hearts, lives and inspired millions throughout the world. The film is told through personal letters she wrote over the last forty years of her life and reveal a troubled and vulnerable woman who grew to feel an isolation and an abandonment by God. The story is told from the point of view of a Vatican priest (Max Van Sydow) charged with the task of investigating acts and events following her death. He recounts her life's work, her political oppression, her religious zeal, and her unbreakable spirit..

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The epic life story of Mother Teresa

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic material including some images of human suffering | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 December 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Letters of Mother Teresa See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$700,683, 6 December 2015, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$1,646,574, 24 January 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

The characters in the slums of Kolkata (then known as Calcutta) pronounced their names in the Hindi way (when speaking in English) and in the Bengali way (when speaking in Bengali). (e.g. Kavitha is pronounced more like Kobita in Bengali) See more »

Connections

Referenced in Midnight Screenings: The Letters/Spotlight (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Mother's Wingspan
Written by Ben Leinbach and Jai Uttal
Performed by Ben Leinbach, Jai Uttal, and Manose Singh
Courtesy of Real Music
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User Reviews

 
I am very glad to have seen this film
18 December 2015 | by bartlettwmelSee all my reviews

Disclaimer: I was a small investor in this film (I was cold-called about the film 7 years ago when Bill Riead was in the early stages of making the movie, and decided it was a good project). So I have a small financial interest in this movie.

I add that I am not catholic (nor even religious), and knew little about mother teresa before I saw this film, so I have no connection to the church, or mother teresa's particular cause.

As to the movie, let me start by saying the movie is not a great piece of filmmaking, and has obvious flaws. For example, the narration is stiff and tiresome in places, and the script feels unsophisticated compared to what we're used to these days.

ON THE OTHER HAND, despite its flaws, I found the movie to be quite powerful. I think the professional critics have really missed something here. I find it hard to believe that anyone could watch this movie and not be inspired by what this woman did, under the conditions that she did it. If you don't feel like crying at times, then you must have a hard heart. :-) The suffering of those people was off-scale, as was the personal sacrifice of mother teresa, who had to fight to be released from her cush job as a nun/teacher at a fancy girls school, to give her life to the poorest, sickest rejects of society. We should all be more like her.

I also want to plug some of the acting: I thought Stevenson was strong (within the limitations of the script), but it was many of the Indian actors (previously unknown to me) who stood out as charismatic and excellent.

Bottom line: lower your expectations as to the entertainment value of the film, and go see it for the way it will make you feel. And take your kids -- it's a very good message.


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