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1,762 Ratings

The Nun

La religieuse

Directed by Jacques Rivette
France, 1966


Around 1750, a girl is forced against her will to take vows as a nun. Three mothers superior treat her in radically different ways, ranging from maternal concern, to sadistic persecution, to lesbian desire. When she asks to renounce her vows, she finds herself caught in a fatal trap.

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The Nun Directed by Jacques Rivette

Critics reviews

Even in this crowd [at the 1968 New York Film Festival], “La Religieuse” stood out, less for its notoriety than its brilliant filmmaking and impassioned restraint.
January 02, 2019
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Piercing sounds of church bells drown out several passages within the film. The ringing — purposefully captured at an uncomfortably loud octave — encompasses our ears. The dialogue may be lost in the process, but the impact is heightened. The sound design of La Religieuse contributes strongly in empathizing with Suzanne, as it clearly translates her anxiety and loneliness.
March 10, 2016
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The Nun is untimely in another, properly Nietzschean sense, too: it is only now that the film is reborn in a carefully restored version, over fifty years after its sign-off date, that we are able to truly appreciate its greatness.
May 22, 0019
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What are people saying?

  • nessmj's rating of the film The Nun

    an intense experience - the sound editing works to bring home a maddening point of the tribulations through which Suzanne lives. the hurried nature of the cuts and jump shots really reminded me of what it was to be 17, how quickly everything seemed to pass with vivid moments while the rest faded away. thematically speaking to our position as to forever being at the behest of others, in one way or another.

  • Warren Spratley's rating of the film The Nun

    Life in a persistent mode of profound dissonance. Each cut & sound, each camera movement emphasizes the discordance of existence. To live is to experience undeviating opposition.Life as war is relentlessly conveyed by way of the female experience in an overwhelmingly oppressive milieu. How does improvisation fit into a strict narrative structure? The ending leads us all to a morbid sense of existential inevitability.

  • Brotherdeacon's rating of the film The Nun

    During the Englightenment, Denis Diderot's story held a reckless indictment of the Church and its monastic transgressions, infused with allusions to sex, madness and social status. By 1966 its subject was still censored. However, Rivette has bound his retelling in tight restraints like a shibari master swinging his Submissive in ropes from a Fragonard painted ceiling, using method not story as God's portent signifier

  • Kenji's rating of the film The Nun

    The Diderot-Rivette-Karina combination is a winner. Satires don't have to come with klaxons blaring. As an indictment of the Catholic church (and wider society too, only reinforced by the film being banned) it feels more powerful for its stylistic restraint, and the casting of Karina more striking after the freedom of Pierrot le Fou. Not the New Wave's blazing star, Rivette has been both bold and richly rewarding.

  • Not A Sexy Vampire's rating of the film The Nun

    Had high hopes for this considering the only other Rivette I'd seen, Celine and Julie, is a top 5 masterpiece of cinematic playfulness. This is a very different film, harrowing, cruel and punishing. I was rooting for for Suzanne to burn the Church to the ground, but in the stranger second half, we get a deeper understanding of the complexity of her faith. Glorious restoration and Karina's performance is riveting.

  • Renton47's rating of the film The Nun

    Plan is to parse out Rivette films as sparingly as birthdays. If the idea of Karina doing existential torment in a habit doesn't excite you, well good luck. I have to concede at this point that I love art about decent Christians which would anger most actual Christians. The Nun is at various points austere, hysterical and disturbing, camp melodrama and sincere depiction of the systemic oppression of women.

  • Loz Loory's rating of the film The Nun

    Far too long, and very dated in its view of church corruption. This movie makes it seem as though lesbians are the greatest threat to nuns. Hah. The clergymen in France (as everywhere else) were famous for institutionally tolerated sexual assault and rape in convents. The idea that convent life was only unsuitable for those who did not willingly take vows is rot; petty humanity follows you everywhere.

  • ig_____or's rating of the film The Nun

    Anna Karina's face framed by that nun's habit is all it takes to grab your attention. It was nice to follow the trials and tribulations of this woman who, despite her lack of aptitude or devotion for a life dedicated to God, was holier than everyone she came in contact with.

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