In 17th-century Italy, young Benedetta Carlini (Virginie Efira) joins a convent; years later, after having visions of Christ and receiving the stigmata, she’s made abbess… while also starting a relationship with a woman (Daphné Patakia). Paul Verhoeven reunited with the writer of Elle (2016) for another sexually charged movie, this time based on a book about an actual case. As expected, the director doesn’t hold back; sex and violence are key factors in a story involving faith, power games, passion and evil. Expect blood, sensation and the occasional wooden dildo, but there isn’t much of an emotional core.
2021-France-Belgium-The Netherlands. 132 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Paul Verhoeven. Screenplay: David Birke, Paul Verhoeven. Book: Judith C. Brown (”Immodest Acts: The Life of a Lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy”). Cinematography: Jeanne Lapoirie. Cast: Virginie Efira (Benedetta Carlini), Charlotte Rampling (Felicita), Daphné Patakia (Bartolomea), Lambert Wilson, Olivier Rabourdin, Louise Chevillotte.