The Nun

The Nun

Guillaume Nicloux (2013)

111min
12A Certificate
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Review

Our Score
A teenage girl is forced to remain in a convent in this adaptation of Denis Diderot's infamous, anti-clerical 18th-century novel. The misfortune of Suzanne (Pauline Etienne) is that her cash-strapped aristocratic parents have exhausted their coffers paying for the dowries of her older sisters, so holy orders are the solution, though Suzanne soon finds her faith shaken by the rituals and hypocrisy she encounters behind the high walls. While Jacques Rivette's 1965 version of the same story (La Religieuse) was initially suppressed by the Catholic Church in France, this update by Gallic journeyman Guillaume Nicloux is unlikely to cause a stir. It's a generally classy yet dramatically underpowered affair traversing a steady path between respectable costume drama and habit-lifting exploitation. Etienne acquits herself well in the lead though, and her journey from spiritual ambivalence towards outright rebellion keeps the story on track. Even so, she is outshone by the late arrival of Isabelle Huppert as a sinister Mother Superior with some very worldly obsessions.

Summary

A young woman born out of wedlock is forced against her will to become a nun by her family. Suffering brutal treatment from the convent's mother superior and dismayed at the corruption she witnesses in the church, she seeks a way to have her vows annulled. Period drama based on Denis Diderot's novel, starring Pauline Etienne, Isabelle Huppert and Louise Bourgoin. In French and Latin.

Cast & Crew

Suzanne Simonin Pauline Etienne
Supérieure Saint-Eutrope Isabelle Huppert
Supérieure Christine Louise Bourgoin
Madame Simonin, mère de Suzanne Martina Gedeck
Madame de Moni Françoise Lebrun
Soeur Thérèse Agathe Bonitzer
Soeur Ursule Alice de Lencquesaing
Père de Suzanne Gilles Cohen
Director Guillaume Nicloux
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Other Information

Language: French, Latin +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: MetrodomeReleased on: 1 Nov 2013
Drama