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      1993 1 hr. 46 min. Drama List
      Reviews 76% 250+ Ratings Audience Score Passion for the Virgin Mary leads a young woman (Natalie Morse) to become a walled-in recluse at her 14th-century church. Read More Read Less

      Audience Reviews

      View All (10) audience reviews
      Audience Member Puts you back in the 1300s. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 01/27/23 Full Review Audience Member This is a fascinating movie. With minimal dialogue it seems to speak volumes and give so much food for thought about life for women, peasants, communities and the church in medieval times and the tensions between these. Visually it is often very beautiful especially in its depiction of nauture. It is slow moving as fitting the times but it is absorbing all the same. There are echoes of Joan of Arc among the themes. Toyah Wilcox, better known as a former pop star, gives a surprisingly strong performance. Natalie Morse is compelling in the lead role, and there are also strong performances from Christopher Ecclestone and Pete Postlethwaite. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/03/23 Full Review Audience Member In 14th century England, a peasant girl that claims to have seen visions of the Virgin Mary agrees to be walled up in a church and live as an "anchoress", a woman who removes herself completely from secular society. She becomes a major attraction, drawing pilgrims to the church, but when her earthy views of spirituality conflict with the priest's (Christopher Eccleston) more traditional views, things go bad for everyone. An interesting film elevated by it's beautiful black and white imagery. A bit reminiscent of early Dvaid Lynch in look and feel, even though Newby's interests could not be farther removed from Lynch's. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/01/23 Full Review Audience Member Rather fascinating, with some striking imagery. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/27/23 Full Review Audience Member A beautiful, haunting film of almost spiritual proportions. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 01/14/23 Full Review Audience Member Anchoress portrays Christine, a 14-year old illiterate peasant girl, who finds herself drawn to a statue of the Virgin Mary. She soon enters the stern life of a female mystic/recluse, in part because she has visions of the Blessed Mother, in part to escape the unwanted advances of her landlord. In the vain of Bergman or Tarkovsky, the film explores the conflicts between the innocence of naturalism and the rigidity of established Christianity. Filmed in black and white, the poetic suggestions and use of imagery are simply spectacular. This film is worth seeing for the cinematography alone. Shot on location in northern France, full of medieval icons and stone buildings, surrounded by peasant farms and fields the film touched on many local customs and lore : gypsies with houses in trees, a dark-tressed virgin Mary-possibly an older connection to Ceres or an earth-mother goddess, early midwivery, and, perhaps most importantly the desire for a direct connection to God, which conflicts with the Church-as-middle-man role. Even if you're not interested in the genre or subject matter, I would recommend this solely on its dreamy, visual sumptuousness. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/08/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

      Critics Reviews

      View All (3) Critics Reviews
      Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times The story is quiet, slow and bleak, with a hypnotic power. Rated: 3/4 Jan 1, 2000 Full Review Alison Macor Austin Chronicle Rated: 3/5 Jan 1, 2000 Full Review Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com Rated: 2/5 Nov 5, 2004 Full Review Read all reviews

      Movie Info

      Synopsis Passion for the Virgin Mary leads a young woman (Natalie Morse) to become a walled-in recluse at her 14th-century church.
      Chris Newby
      Original Language
      Release Date (DVD)
      May 2, 2000