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Hail Mary [VHS]

3.2 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Myriem Roussel, Thierry Rode, Philippe Lacoste, Manon Andersen, Malachi Jara Kohan
  • Directors: Jean-Luc Godard
  • Writers: Jean-Luc Godard
  • Format: NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • VHS Release Date: October 11, 1989
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6302038200
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #323,432 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

The student Marie, who plays basketball and works in the gas station of her father, gets pregnant without having intercourse. The taxi driver Joseph becomes upset and the newcomer in town Gabriel convinces Joseph to accept her pregnancy. Meanwhile the college student Eva has an affair with her professor.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Hail Mary" (Je vous salue, Marie) is a modern-day retelling of the Annunciation and Incarnation by France's aging enfant terrible - Jean-Luc Godard. Despite the vociferous condemnation it garnered, it is a visually beautiful and surprisingly spiritual film. It hews closely to biblical narrative, albeit updated to modern times and laced with a wickedly bawdy sense of humour. Marie (Myriem Roussel) is a basketball-loving teenager attending high-school in Geneva. Her boyfriend Joseph (Thierry Rode) is a school-dropout who works as a Taxi driver. He is frustrated with her because unlike other girls, she insists on remaining a virgin. The archangel Gabriel (Philippe Lacoste) appears as a grumpy, unshaven man who arrives by airplane, accompanied by a cherubic sidekick. Gabriel takes Joseph's taxi to the petrol station where Marie works part-time for her dad. There he makes his momentous announcement to the consternation of everyone. The bulk of the film examines Marie's reaction to her situation. It is conceived as a "serious" film, delves into weighty topics, and would be hard to follow for most audiences, who will more likely focus on the pervasive nudity instead and declare themselves mightily offended.

"Hail Mary" is preceded by Anne-Marie Miéville's short film "The Book of Mary" (Le Livre de Marie) and both films should be viewed as a whole, in that order. They were shown as such upon original release. Miéville's "The Book of Mary" has nothing to do with religion or the Marie of Godard's film. It is a lovely 27-minute film about a young girl coming to terms with the separation of her parents. What it has in common with "Hail Mary" is the theme of life-change and the importance of accepting change.
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Format: DVD
Note: French with English subtitles.

Synopsis: The sun glides across the horizon on its unending journey from sunrise to sunset. A plane descends upon the modern, urban landscape carrying a female child and her Uncle Gabriel presumably sent on a mission of divine origin.

Meanwhile Mary tends the counter inside her Father's gas station, occasionally stepping outside to record the latest tallies registering on the pumps. Her boyfriend Joseph picks up the divinely sent messengers at the airport terminal and brings them to the meet his beloved never realizing who they are and what lies ahead for the young couple.

Critique: `Hail Mary' released in '85 is quite likely the most controversial film of the 20th century. Banned by the Catholic Church for its raw and sometimes scathing modern day depiction of the Virgin Mary, I believe this is a movie whose time has finally come and will soon be recognized as the classic it truly is. After listening to all the ranting and raving condemning this film you will surely be surprised, and I hope delighted, by what you experience when you finally watch it.

Myriem Roussel is perfect in the role of immaculate Mary. Her youthful, understated beauty provides the perfect combination of innocence and sensuality, appearing as a little lost girl in need of comfort one minute and a passionate woman in the mood for love the next. Thierry Rode in the role of Joseph doesn't quite rise to the level of Roussel but does deliver a strong though understated performance fully manifesting all the confusion, pain and unconsolable loss of a man forever forbidden to fully love the woman he marries.
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Format: DVD
Jean-Luc Godard's Hail Mary ('Je vous salue, Marie')has the distinction of being one of the most controversial films of the late 20th Century. It was banned and boycotted and denounced by no less than the Pope himself but most of the film's most ardent critics hadn't even seen the film that they vilified. For what its worth Hail Mary is perhaps Gogard's most spiritual film and it can be quite lyrical as it attempts to tell the story of the Annunciation in a modern setting.

Mary (Myriem Roussel) is a normal but stunningly beautiful teenager: she plays on the basketball team at her school and lives with her father who owns a gas station. She desires a normal relationship with her boyfriend Joseph (Thierry Rode) but her life quickly goes out of control when she is met by two angels who inform her that she is pregnant. Mary, who is a virgin, has trouble accepting this fact as do the people around her. What follows is a meditation on both the divine and the human. Mary accepting the role she is given in contrast to a second couple who live for the carnal.

This second couple Eva (Anne Gautier) and her Professor/Lover (Johan Leysen) are involved in an extra marital affair that only leads to anguish. They are the opposite side of the coin from Mary and Joseph.

Godard uses the film to contrast pure love with love of the flesh and does quite a good job. So why only three stars? Godard's film moves at a glacial pace and his difficult philosophy is on display in its most brutal form. There are moments of complete confusion for the viewer as one tries to sort it all out.

The film has beautiful imagery courtesy of Godard cinematographers Jacques Firmann and Jean-Bernard Menoud with loving shots of the heavens and fields of flowers.
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