For a better experience on MUBI, update your browser.
1,087 Ratings

Hail Mary

Je vous salue, Marie

Directed by Jean-Luc Godard
Switzerland, United Kingdom, 1985


In this modern retelling of the Virgin birth, Mary is a student who plays basketball and works at her father’s petrol station; Joseph is an earnest dropout who drives a cab. Accompanied by the short film The Book of Mary by Godard’s longtime companion and collaborator Anne-Marie Miéville.

Hail Mary Directed by Jean-Luc Godard

Awards & Festivals

Berlin International Film Festival

1985 | Winner: Interfilm Award - Otto Dibelius Film Award

1985 | Honorable Mention: OCIC Promotional Award

Critics reviews

Frame by luminous frame, Hail Mary (1985) seems to me [Godard’s] most beautiful work… Far from shocking, Hail Mary feels like a brave, all-too-rare attempt to regain innocence when looking at the body, nature and everything else, as if virginity – ‘knowing only the shadow of love’ – was really a transcendent way of seeing the world.
February 03, 2016
Read full article
Despite the tempestuousness of Mary and Joseph’s body-soul struggle, Godard’s filmmaking is calm and eloquent, nearly untroubled in an era of troublesome productions. Whether we see Mary’s soul or not is undoubtedly up to the viewer, but the tender sympathy of this resolutely materialist filmmaker remains resplendent in its beauty and voluptuous in its polyphony of cinematic records—in ways that all but immediately reveal the pulsing meaning and power within the images’ forms.
October 11, 2013
Read full article
…The idea sounds like a joke, and there is puckish humor in the movie (there’s also a startling, yet sacral, eroticism, which resulted in protests against the film worldwide, including at its 1985 screening at the New York Film Festival), but Godard invests the subject with his full and passionate philosophical devotion, starting with the image itself.
October 10, 2013
Read full article

What are people saying?

  • Lynch/Fellini's rating of the film Hail Mary

    Upon re-watching this film, I began to see the brilliance of it. In my first sitting, I complained that Godard was aimless and pandering throughout. But now, I no longer see that. I instead see a strong metaphor of a film with gorgeous cinematography and score. I now believe this may be one of Godard's strongest efforts!

  • T. J. Harman's rating of the film Hail Mary

    One of Godard's most beautiful films as well as one of his best of the 80s. His eye for composition here is as on par as it usually is w/ his editing choices & camera angles. JLG is an idea man & focusing the story on one central idea w/other ones around it really gives it focus.

  • Duncan Gray's rating of the film Hail Mary

    Godard does spirituality—I think. There is cosmic imagery here, the stuff of Malick filtered through Godard's gift for picking a simple visual metaphor and letting your mind run with it. In re-rendering the Gospels, it makes the virgin birth a parable about different kinds of love and the sanctity of the (female) body. Which means that when the Vatican freaked out, they didn't realize just how respectful it was.

  • El Biffo's rating of the film Hail Mary

    Godard updates the story of Joseph and Mary. Joseph drives a taxi, but there is still a donkey and a manger in the film, even if only gratuitously. Mary plays basketball and smokes cigarettes, but not during pregnancy. 4.3

  • josé neves's rating of the film Hail Mary

    35mm.The fact that i participated in the political riot against religious obscurantism in 1985, when this film was presented at cinematheque, marked me more than the memory of the film itself. Rewatching it now, it's a corny collation of images that looking for the absolute only gives us nothing more than sunsets, flowers, moon and Roussel's (less) sacred parts, with the usual musical and literary panoply.

  • Ghostman's rating of the film Hail Mary

    Hail Mary is an engaging and strange work of art by Jean-Luc Godard, our Holy Spirit of filmmakers. The film depicts a modern re-telling of the Virgin Mary myth and how its narrative would apply to our modern times. Godard's film, as usual, is incredibly dense and it defies easy summary and analysis. [cont.]

  • Ethan's rating of the film Hail Mary

    Godard loved to piss people off and he pissed a lot of people off with this film that is a modern retelling of the Virgin Mary giving birth to Jesus Christ. Not as controversial as you would think but interesting nonetheless.

  • DrFirestone's rating of the film Hail Mary

    Compared to Godard's earlier films Hail Mary is more refined, especially the cinematography: the choice of angles, subjects, some scenes are absolutely beautiful. Great music choice. However that elusive element of greatness is missing here, while the topic can be controversial for some, it's handled in a way that the whole lacks the impact of Godard's earlier work. Still, it's a very unique and memorable film.

Related films