“Novitiate”–movie review–should be seen   Leave a comment

“Novitiate” takes place in the early 1960s when what was referred to as Vatican II began to make changes in the Catholic Church and those changes would be powerful and extreme, as the closing credits show.

We follow a young girl named Cathleen as she becomes a postulant for 6 months and then a year and a half in the quarters with the other novices and it makes Marine Corps’ boot camp look like child’s play!  Cathleen enters the order after one day feeling the presence of God and we watch her process to becoming a full fledged nun.

We meet other postulants who are there for various reasons, some succeeding, others leaving before the decision has to be made and others are basically thrown out.

All are under the charge of the Reverend Mother who makes it clear that she speaks for God. She has been a nun for 40 years and is having problems with the new rules coming from Rome that she feels demeans her religion, nuns and her.

There is a lot in this film that I feel most people, especially males, don’t know what a female went through to become a nun and I don’t know how much has changed but I left the film in awe of these women. I am not saying much else but this is a mesmerizing movie with very few clichés.

Melissa Leo, as the Reverend Mother is a stern disciplinarian who believes in her relationship with Christ and wants her novices to feel the love she feels and her inner fight with the Vatican II new rules is tearing her apart.

Cathleen is played as a child by Eliza Mason, as a 12 year old by Sasha Mason and at 17 by Margaret Qualley all giving fine performances, especially the latter. Her mother played by Julianne Nicholson is spot on while other postulants and nuns are played by Maddie Hasson, Rebecca Dayan, Ashley Bell, Morgan Saylor, Liana Liberato, Dianna Agron and Cathleen’s father in a short role by Chris Zylka are all natural in their roles.

I have always had the Hollywood versions of nuns and knew most weren’t like Audrey Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman, Jennifer Jones but more like the mean Sisters walking around with rulers to slap knuckles and having seen what nuns go through to become a nun I am surprised more aren’t like the latter!

“Novitiate” is an excellent film that holds your interest and should be seen.

 

 

Movie trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6QrP53BEug

Posted November 27, 2017 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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