Combustible Celluloid
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With: Morfydd Clark, Jennifer Ehle, Lily Knight, Lily Frazer, Turlough Convery, Rosie Sansom, Marcus Hutton, Carl Prekopp, Noa Bodner
Written by: Rose Glass
Directed by: Rose Glass
MPAA Rating: R for disturbing and violent content, sexual content and language
Running Time: 84
Date: 02/12/2021

Saint Maud (2021)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Creep of Faith

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This incredible horror film popped up at the 2019 Toronto Film Festival, but, due to COVID-19 didn't arrive in U.S. theaters until January of 2021. Saint Maud (2021) is the feature writing and directing debut of Rose Glass, from the UK, and it's one of the great portraits of obsession from an interior point of view; it's perhaps something along the lines of Polanski's Repulsion, but it's a searing indictment of religious fervor, rather than moral. After failing to save a patient with CPR, a nurse has changed her name to Maud (Morfydd Clark), become deeply Catholic, and works as a palliative care nurse. Her patient is Amanda Köhl (Jennifer Ehle), a noted American dancer and choreographer. After a seeming moment of connection, Maud becomes determined to convert Amanda before she passes. What follows are moments of Maud being humiliated, while desperately searching for signs or help from God to show her the way. The movie eerily reflects her state of mind with its confident, unwavering tone, teetering just on the edge of realism, drawn toward nightmarish longing.

Lionsgate's excellent Blu-ray release includes a 25-minute behind-the-scenes featurette, and an audio commentary track by director Rose Glass. It also comes with trailers at startup, and a digital copy.

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