Set in the early 1960s and during the era of Vatican II, a young woman in training to become a nun struggles with issues of faith, the changing church and sexuality.

Director:

Maggie Betts

Writer:

Maggie Betts
5 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Melissa Leo ... Reverend Mother
Lisa Stewart ... Sister Genevieve (as Lisa Stewart Seals)
Alyssa Brindley Alyssa Brindley ... Sister Kate
Chelsea Lopez ... Sister Charlotte
Liana Liberato ... Sister Emily
Eline Powell ... Sister Candace
Margaret Qualley ... Sister Cathleen
Morgan Saylor ... Sister Evelyn
Rebecca Dayan ... Sister Emanuel
Hannah Renèe Jackson ... Sister Anne
Marco St. John ... Father Luca
Julianne Nicholson ... Nora Harris
Eliza Stella Mason ... Cathleen Age 7 (as Eliza Mason)
Bill Shick ... Local Priest
Danny Vinson ... Rob - Church Usher
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Storyline

1964. Cathleen Harris, in her late teens, has resided at the Convent of the Beloved Rose in her home state in the American south for close to two years, first as a postulant for six months, before taking her first vows to become a novice. Unlike the other postulants and novices, Sister Cathleen was raised in a household without religion, let alone Catholicism. As such, her decision to become a nun, which went against her divorced mother's wishes, may be more secure in her mind than her colleagues for which this life course may be more bred within them. The convent is led by the Mother Abbess, Reverend Mother Marie Saint Clare, whose entire life is this convent off of where she not stepped foot in forty years. Reverend Mother believes she is the voice of God within the walls of the convent, and thus does not tolerate any of the sisters questioning her authority. She also believes that the Catholicism which she has known all her life is perfect. When she receives an edict regarding the ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some sexuality and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot in Tennessee. See more »

Goofs

During the clothing ceremony, Nora is in church without a hat or veil. She would have been required to wear one in church. See more »

Quotes

[singing Exodus 4:15 repetitively]
Nuns: You shall speak to him / And put the words in his mouth / And I will be with your mouth / And with his mouth / And will teach you both what to do.
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Connections

References The Nun's Story (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

Spiegel Im Spiegel
Performed by Arvo Pärt
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User Reviews

 
Complex issues well handled
23 February 2018 | by Lugo1989See all my reviews

Novitiate is a very solid debut film for Margaret Betts. It covers many themes from religion, faith, doubt, love, and internal turmoil of young girls who decide to devote their lives to God. The writing is good and the story moves fluently throughout the entire film with the exeption of maybe the last few minutes where things slow down a bit. Another positive thing about the writing is that it does not try to attack the church or ever turns into an anti-religion type of film. Everything is explored realistically. Especially the feelings of young girls who sometimes question their choices and ask themselves if it is really worth it. It is essentially a story about love, giving love, sometimes losing it and receiving it back. A vast topic but handled really well in my opinion. Another thing worth mentioning are the performances. All the actresses give great performances with Melissa Leo and Julianne Nicholson being the standouts. Recommended for that, good writing and solid direction.


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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site

Country:

USA

Release Date:

20 January 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Novitiate See more »

Filming Locations:

Nashville, Tennessee, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,724, 29 October 2017

Gross USA:

$580,346

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$580,346
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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