Paul Verhoeven’s Wonderful Lesbian Nun

Paul Verhoeven, director of Robocop, The girls perform, Airship Army, etc. has always been a big boy at heart and never has that been more apparent than in his new movie, Benedetta, a story about lesbian nuns, politicized Catholicism, and the Plague set in Medieval Italy. At 83 years old, it’s great to see that the man still loves farts, boobs, violent graphics, and illegal imagery. Like a whole Biblical Scholar and a nasty little dutch monster, Benedetta is the movie he was born to make.

Since his heyday as the king of sci-fi action satire in the ’90s, Verhoeven has been mostly making European art-house movies lately, making up for the special effects budget lower by even more sex movies. Benedetta is the culmination of this stalwart Late Verhoeven phenomenon, an artistic and delicious lingering dream. It grapples with belief, sorta, but it also describes a Petomane– beautiful medieval flat lighting on the stage in the town square for the first five minutes. Ah, medieval Vaudeville, these are the kinds of details that really make up a story.

The plot concerns the title character, who we first meet as a little girl on the way to the convent with her family (who actually has to pay a dowry to the convent in order for Benedetta to marry). with God). Some highwaymen try to kill their families, but the devout Benedetta threatens them with divine punishment, some of which seem magically materializing before their very eyes. She then becomes a pledge at the convent (this is what they’re called, isn’t it?) in Pescia, torn between a stern warden, played by Charlotte Rampling, and Bartolomea, a nun. another Benedetta saved from a sex slave, played by Daphne Patakia. . Meanwhile, adult Benedetta, played by Virginie Efira, is beset by increasingly intense religious visions – some of which seem to come true, others that seem largely abstract. , like when she dreamed that Jesus had a vagina.

The beginning-middle part of Benedetta, after setting but before leading up to the finale, lasted a little and for a while Benedetta it feels as if it’s set to be one of those indie that features a captivating collection of exotic elements juxtaposed by too much dull sloppiness in between. I’ve seen millions of them, and they’re always a drag, both to see and to judge. You want to credit them for the good ideas they contain while remaining honest about the main feeling they evoke when watching, which is boredom. “You know… I love it when Nicolas Cage wrestles with that CGI jaguar but mostly it sucks.”

Benedetta is that rare, almost magical, movie that is, indeed, more than two hours long (131 minutes to be exact) that only seems to get better in the second hour. The momentum builds and builds until the action reaches its glorious climax, a clash between the plague, Benedetta’s earthly enemies, and her bloody love affair with Bartolomea, a stunning ending. like anything I’ve seen this year (including one of its best lines).

Part of the beauty of Paul Verhoeven is that he seems to be a thinking man and doesn’t make thinking man movies. His characters rarely aspire to reflect silently or alone; they fuck, fight, fart, betray, torture, and kill. For him, cinema is not an introvert’s medium, and God bless him for that.

‘Benedetta’ is available in select theaters and everywhere digitally rented for Friday, December 3. Vince Mancini joined Twitter. You can check out his archive of movie reviews here.

https://uproxx.com/movies/benedetta-review-lesbian-nuns-paul-verhoeven/ Paul Verhoeven’s Wonderful Lesbian Nun

JOE HERNANDEZ

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