AroView: A typically provocative yet compelling psychodrama from Dutch veteran director Paul Verhoeven, set in a 17th century Italian convent.
Virginie Efira gives a commanding performance as Benedetta Carlini, a Bride of Christ who suffers disturbing visions and becomes involved in a love affair with a fellow nun. Charlotte Rampling adds class as the Mother Superior whose authority and faith is threatened by her ascendency. Loosely based on the 1986 non-fiction book Immodest Acts: The Life of a Lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy, by Judith C. Brown.
“Verhoeven, as always, is more interested in playing games and is always at his best when needling an audience’s ideas of good taste.”
~RORY O’CONNOR, THE FILM STAGE
“There is something valedictory about the erotic religious drama, which finds time to explore questions of voyeurism, sadism, masochism, systems of power, perversion, repression, rebellion, storytelling, divinity, irony and belief. Oh, and sex — plenty and plenty of nun-on-nun sex.” ~Ben Croll, TheWrap
“As a statement, Benedetta won’t win any awards for coherence, but there’s just Too Much Verhoeven going on here for sensation hunters ever to feel short-changed.” ~Tim Robey, The Telegraph