Acclaimed director Pawel Pawlikowski returns to his homeland for this moving and intimate drama about a young novitiate nun in 1960s Poland who, on the verge of taking her vows, discovers a dark family secret dating from the terrible years of the Nazi occupation.
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I was profoundly impressed by this movie. It is the perfect example of how a simple premise, executed in a unique and brilliant way, can lead to a perfect film. In a way it takes movies about teenage self-discovery and classic road movies and infuses them with a refinedness that most of them lack. On top of that, every other shot is one of the prettiest ones you have ever seen.
A journey about finding one's identity only to lose it again, a timeless immersion into the world of sacred values and sacred pleasures of life, this movie speaks about faith and the faithless, following three history landmarks: personal, worldly and divine. And all that in a rendering of black and white perfection.
Slow-paced and short is usually a winning combo for me. This one, though, is visually arresting, each shot carefully composed and brilliantly executed. Lead actress is gorgeous and compelling. Very glad this got a Best Cine nomination. Bravo! 4.5/5
A film high on aesthetics; a pleasurable watch through and through. Yet it does give a feeling at times that film hasn't 'evolved' from the 60's. Then again, the 60's was (arguably) the best decade in cinema...
At the end of the day; If you loved its aesthetics, the care and consideration for symbols and underlying themes and wished for something more than perhaps you got: You should see Karel Kachyna's NOC NEVĚSTY.
Hands down the best BW photography I've seen in a long time, but the direction makes it over-stylized and even anti-spiritual, you can tell Pawel aims for a solemn look, but when you put your characters on the corners/sides of the frame on every single shot for postcard-like images you risk a visual monotony this film can't escape. And a sad, crowd-pleasing holocaust story for content? is there anything more facile?
Moments here moved me and it's all very pretty, but as a whole I don't really trust it, from the affected Max Headroom aesthetic to the fashionable vagueness that obscures both character psychology and its underlying historical argument, which near as I can tell is pretty wack.
A wonderful achievement from director Pawel Pawlikowski that follows a young nun, just about to take her vows, who suddenly discovers her true identity and along with an aunt she has met for the first time begins to search for her history and her inner truth. The filmmaking is exquisite and reminds one of Dreyer in both visual sense and performance. Great script by the director and Rebecca Lenkiewicz. Top marks.
The beginning of the film was strong, and promised a lot, but it lost its strength about halfway through the film. The cinematography was stunning, and for this alone I find the film worth watching. More on my blog: http://tinyurl.com/oun7tt4