Isabelle is an ex-nun waiting for her special mission from God. In the meantime, she is making a living writing pornography. She meets Thomas, a sweet, confused amnesiac who cannot remember that he used to be a vicious pornographer.
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Better-than-average dark/campy/satirical comedy morphs into tragedy and, for me, becomes a 5-Star movie the moment Isabelle Huppert appears on screen. She's always great, but especially in this picture. And her outfits are outrageous, a real treat for her fans to see her dressed up in extreme gear. Many great moments/lines/frames and an amazing ending.
Brilliantly poised tragi-comedy, where all the elements of the story are juggled brilliantly; a seemingly light film that develops into something much darker and ends on an absolutely perfect note. The soundtrack is especially worthy of mention (Red House Painters! Jesus Lizard! My Bloody Valentine!)
****1/2 I've seen virtually all Hartley's other films, and I've had the sdtk CD since its release (the clerk sold me with the promise of a "new" PJ Harvey track, but it was already on an album), but somehow I've never seen it until now. That's a shame: It's some of Hartley's most beautiful, moving, and FUNNY stuff ever, and has the most cumulatively sublime effect in his filmography this side of HENRY FOOL.
Worth seeing if you can get your hands on it. It is a shame it is now out of print in the USA. This movie is actually quite fun, and one of the better films by director Hal Hartley. Isabelle Huppert's character as the nympho ex-nun is the best part of the film.
Kind of an old-school literary endeavour, in the third-person, with an abundant reliance on dramatic irony. But also pretty dark. Not exceptionally crafted but exceptionally odd, hard to get a read on but easy to go along with. Everyone is a blank slate but it's impossible to erase the past, sometimes it's fun to play the madonna and sometimes the whore.
(...)Stecken die Charaktere in Hal Hartley Filmen wirklich voller Überraschungen? Ich würde denken, sie überraschen uns eher damit, dass sie ihren Charakter einfach ändern. Isabelle hat bereits ihren Konvent verlassen und schreibt stattdessen Pornos. Sie nahm sich die Freiheit, jemand anders zu sein. Und Hartley selbst? Will er sich von gängigen Plots befreien?(...)