HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
Iron Fury
Ride in the Whirlwind
Deathstalker II
Cloak and Dagger
Honeyland
Love Ban, The
Western Stars
League of Gentlemen, The
Higher Power
Shinsengumi
IT Chapter Two
Rich Kids
Arena
Glory Guys, The
Serial Killer's Guide to Life, A
Lovers and Other Strangers
Shiny Shrimps, The
Good Woman is Hard to Find, A
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Doctor at Sea
Spear
Death Cheaters
Wild Rose
Streetwalkin'
Mystify: Michael Hutchence
Devil's Playground, The
Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters
Hustlers
Mega Time Squad
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Souvenir, The
Birds of Passage
Ma
Woman at War
Happy as Lazzaro
Mickey's Christmas Carol
Marriage Story
Santa Claus is a Bastard
   
 
Newest Articles
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
   
 
  Lourdes Miraculous RecoveryBuy this film here.
Year: 2009
Director: Jessica Hausner
Stars: Sylvie Testud, Léa Seydoux, Gilette Barbier, Gerhard Liebmann, Bruno Todeschini, Elina Löwensohn, Katharina Flicker, Linde Prelog, Heidi Baratta, Jacky Pratoussy, Walter Benn, Hubert Kramar, Helg Illich, Bernadette Schneider, Thomas Uhlir
Genre: Drama
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Christine (Sylvie Testud) is paralysed from the neck down due to her multiple sclerosis, and as a result does not get to go out and mingle with the world at large as much as she would like. She is entirely reliant on other people, and needs someone to feed her and push her wheelchair among other things if she wants to get through the day, so she longs for the time when she could be cured and begin to live her life again. The doctors have told her this is next to impossible, so she has to content herself with going on religious pilgrimages if she wants to leave the house these days...

Neither a cheerleading, beatific support of the Catholic Church nor a cynical demolition of the power of faith, Lourdes was an ambiguous drama which took a near-documentary approach to the idea of miracles in the world. Christine doesn't have high hopes for her trip to the holy site, as she isn't hugely pious for a start, but writer and director Jessica Hausner appeared to be wishing to teach her a lesson, not in a stern manner but give her something to think about and whether she truly deserved the way that events pan out. It's not great surprise to say that the film drew from real life in that there really were those who visited Lourdes who recovered from their afflictions.

Then again, it was also true that such recoveries rarely last and for the overwhelming percentage of the disabled who found their conditions much improved thanks to a bathe in the waters, the outlook was not so sunny and they reverted back to their previous state. Thus the Church do not recognise those occurrences as true miracles, and the reason behind such temporary relief is much debated. If nothing else, watching this film gave you quite some insight into the practices of Lourdes where this was made, and what you could expect should you decide to visit there, the answer to that resembling a holiday camp run with near military precision by the staff of nurses and nuns.

A holiday camp with a significantly Christian theme, that was, but the intention was to leave the visitors feeling improved in spirit if not necessarily in body, and that comes across strongly in Hausner's rather cold gaze at what happened to one such individual who benefited physically. We meet others along the way, including an elderly woman who shares a room with Christine and takes it upon herself to look after her as much as possible, suggesting that the disadvantaged serve a purpose: to make those unafflicted feel better when they help them out, not something everyone who watched the film would go along with. At least the old lady does a better job than the actual nurse assigned to Christine.

She is Maria (Léa Seydoux), a flighty sort who has her eye on an older man, and sums up the frustrations of her charge, for if Christine was able-bodied she would he happy to try romancing him herself, and as we see later, he would be happy of the attention. Considering she is in a wheelchair, the chances of that are slim, and you could ponder whether Hausner was being realistic about the opportunities those like her protagonist enjoyed, or rather didn't enjoy, or whether she was being rather cruel. The environment we see is weirdly heartless for all the claims to charity, shuttling the pilgirms around like cattle, and leaving them to take away their own conclusions, however religious they may be. But if there is a God looking down on this lot, the old adage that he moves in mysterious ways might not be enough for this work, and the sense that the essential unknowable quality of the deity is not good enough predominates; then there's the thought that He doesn't exist at all - as I say, cruel, if thought-provoking.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1344 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: