1809, France. Captain Neuville is called to the front, leaving his future bride heartbroken. Her sister decides to write letters on his behalf to cheer her up. But it all goes south when Neuville reappears.
A psychiatrist and his blind girlfriend, bound by sinister interest. A school doctor, who lost more than work with her dismissal. Her brother, who will do everything for her. A desperate ... See full summary »
Sarah Victoria Frick,
In 1721, the Regent of France, wanting to seal the peace with Spain, offers to the Spanish King, a marriage between their respective heirs: Louis XV, age 11, and Maria Anna Victoria, the 4-... See full summary »
Jacques "Vincent Lindon" is a journalist at a large regional newspaper in France. His reputation as an impartial investigator attracts the attention of the Vatican, who recruit him to lead a committee to explore the legitimacy of a saintly apparition in a small French village-a true canonical investigation. Upon his arrival, he meets the young novitiate Anna, who claims to have personally witnessed an apparition of the Virgin Mary. Shes garnered an impressive following in the village but is torn between her faith and the many solicitations she receives. Confronted with opposing views from clergy members and skeptics, Jacques finds his belief system profoundly shaken as he works to uncover the hidden motivations and pressures at work.Written by
Music Box Films
Inspired by the true story of Saint Bernadette of Lourdes. A young girl who, in the age of 14, had all together 18 apparitions of Virgin Mary in the late 1850s. Today Lourdes is visited by 5 million Catholics a year, and several miracles have taken place. See more »
A Deal with Chaos
Composed by Jóhann Jóhannsson See more »
I just saw a surprisingly interesting movie called The Apparition. No, not a horror flick, but rather a spiritual detective story, about a secularish journalist who is recruited onto a Vatican commission to investigate a sighting of the Virgin Mary in a French Village.
I hesitate to recommend it because it is 2 1/2 hours long, although it never seemed to drag. The lead is played by Vincent Lindon, one of those deep-voiced French actors who seem to purr their lines rather than speak them.
One of the realities that the movie explores is how uncomfortable the Catholic Church is with these kinds of sightings, which are subjected to intense scrutiny. Very few of them receive the Church's endorsement. Most are eventually rejected as unauthentic. Part of the Church's problem is its orthodoxy. The Church is like a sheepdog, driven by instinct to perpetually circle its flock, keeping them in a tight bunch. Every question of faith must be either dogma or heresy, believed by everybody or by nobody -- lest they forfeit the high ground of orthodoxy. Superimposed on this is the Church's need to protect role as intermediary between man and God. If direct experience of the divine is commonplace, the Church and its sacraments are unnecessary. And if visionaries are adored and invested with exceptional spiritual powers, they wind up in direct competition with the hierarchy. The Church is (rightly) fearful of the potential mischief of cults.
Critics have charged the movie with lack of focus, and the director with lack of discipline, and the ending with lack of resolution. They have missed the point. One of the main themes is that different people pursue different sorts of truth. The Vatican wants spiritual truth. The journalist just wants to know exactly what happened (or didn't happen) and is not much concerned one way or the other with its spiritual significance. His is not a conflict of faith; his conflict is that his instinct as a journalist tells him that the girl he is investigating is sincere, but the facts don't add up. In this context, the ending is perfect. But the movie is a rich tapestry, with a lot else going on. It treats every character (save one, an American evangelist) with respect, and allows each his or her own truth. Its theme requires a broad focus, and a wandering camera. And 2 1/2 hours.
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