Language: French, English, Italian
Country: Austria, France
Director/Writer: Jessica Hausner
Cinematographer: Martin Gschlacht
Forgive my ignorance of neither Lourdes or theology, without a Catholic background, to me the miracles sound hyperbolic and outlandish at first, but after watching the film, even though being an agnostic, some kind of insight surfaced upon my mind’s eye that the miracle itself could be a fatal burden to whom it is granted, which is my very direct response, which I am not sure would be the prime aim of the director, for me, it does pique my curiosity definitely.
Due to the fact that the mystery has still been in a moot beyond any explanation by now, the third feature from Austrian director Jessica Hausner (whose previous film is a haunting ghost story – HOTEL 2004) cannily digresses the mythological topic of the epiphanic moment, instead, the film focuses directly on the individuals of the pilgrim group (thought from a restrained distance), the most noteworthy comes from their blunt reactions before/after the miraculous event, which unavoidably compass piety, expectation, sympathy versus selfishness, jealousy, gloating, envy and bitterness. As a matter of fact it is more like a discreet dissertation on a test of humanity, which literally and cruelly reveals the inconvenient truth that it is our soul needs to be cured.
What I truly commend here is the laconic shots, the full-blown palette and a calm stance which is pervasive throughout the entire movie, all of which establish a sincere austerity and mercy to its views, plus the non-intrusion composition drastically enhances the solemnity and sacredness of its own proposition.
The female protagonist Sylvie Testud’s performance is extraordinarily astute, despite of her word-deficient and gesture-limited role while the supporting group is also tellingly awesome, terse but impressive!