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56 Ratings


Directed by Margaret Betts
United States, 2017


Set in the early 1960s and during the era of Vatican II, a young woman in training to become a nun struggles with issues of faith, the changing church and sexuality.

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Novitiate Directed by Margaret Betts
Betts balances the naturalistic exchanges of her sympathetic young cast with bravura set pieces for the seasoned actors, such as Leo’s standoff with Denis O’Hare as a smug archbishop come to lay down the law.
November 02, 2017
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Although there are entire scenes devoted to rather nuanced and thoughtful insights on the nature of faith during a particularly turbulent time in the Catholic Church, these feel divorced from the narrative’s more highly dramatized scenes. The film’s meditative and excessive sides never quite cohere, giving the impression of watching two distinct films that are jostling against each other, rather than united in a single story.
October 24, 2017
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Betts, who also wrote the script, films the young women of the convent with ardent attention, catching hints of skepticism and revolt in small yet unmistakable details. But she undercuts the characters’ passion and transcendent devotion with audiovisual commonplaces, familiar acting styles, and a merely anecdotal narrative.
October 20, 2017
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