From a clever opening scene this film just gets better. A captivating story, low-key, not overly dramatic considering the subject matter. Yet very moving.
Beautifully filmed, spare dialogue with not a single wasted word. The story virtually tells itself through the actions of the characters. The acting is superb. The music is beautiful, and unsurprisingly, religiously themed.
The subject is controversial and most will take sides. But this is such a deep human drama and should appeal to all but the most hardened.
When the protagonist lost her newly found love and hope, a miracle slipped away. Sylvie Testud gave an excellent performance portraying the leading role in this thin, almost mute script, meaning not much dialogue. Cinematic style is Bressonian. The more you see, the more you read between the lines and subtle nuances of physical gesture.
Inconclusive, semi-interesting exploration of the paradoxes of faith and hope versus cynicism and charity versus selfishness in the attitudes of the ailing pilgrims and their attendants who come seeking miracle cures at the French shrine of Lourdes. What struck me most was how much more the sick and physically challenged pilgrims needed human care and companionship than they needed miracles, and how the legions of rituals at Lourdes, both for religion and tourism, only seemed to isolate and ostracize them further. By the end, I tired of the film’s long, slow pace; inarticulate, even dim-witted characters; and way too many sequences in which the actors, especially the physically challenged protagonist, stare blankly into space.
A gem of a film. Subtle reflection on hope, fear and the vagaries of life. Sylvie Testud is a marvel. Her acting is intimate and understated inviting the viewer to become engaged.
Good - Lourdes revolves around a woman with MS who travels to the holy place in France hoping for a cure to her illness. The film does not follow the typical storytelling of Hollywood with powerful music and emotions to lift the scene but rather the director relies on the humanistic element of the scene itself. Where the main character searches for a cure to her physical condition, what the priest tells her on sight of the grotto is that what she should be seeking firstly is a cure her soul - something that we should all seek healing for. Once we begin to heal our insides through the grace of God, the rest follows. Powerful story with messages throughout this film. Well done.
Jessica Hauser, a self-described atheist, offers up a subtly sneering swipe at the Catholic pilgrimage site at Lourdes. Hauser's stated purpose was "to question faith and also the miracles," which she does by means of characters whose faith, if any, is portrayed as shallow and mindless. A tedious and slow-moving film whose primary redeeming feature is its filming location.
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