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Hail Mary

3.2 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Denounced by the Pope and banned and boycotted worldwide, this surprisingly serene and lyrical work translates the Virgin Birth into tangible contemporary terms, with Mary as a teenage basketball-playing gas-station attendant who receives the Annunciation by jetliner. Mary is a beautiful yet ordinary teenager who vows to maintain her chastity. Following a warning from an angel, a confused and innocent Mary unexpectedly falls pregnant and is forced to wed her taxi-driving boyfriend Joseph. He, in turn, must love his virgin bride from a distance, revering her without touching her. Forced to face a shocking reality, Mary and Joseph along with their family and friends must struggle to cope as the provocative theme unfolds. HAIL MARY is a sensational and bold work from French master director Jean-Luc Godard which touched off an uproar of protest heard around the world.

Amazon.com

Hail Mary provocatively combines sexual politics with religion, analyzing the complex, nearly sadistic relationship between Marie (Myriem Roussel) and Joseph (Thierry Rode) as a result of Marie's unexplainable virgin birth. An angel, escorted in Marie's boyfriend Joseph's taxicab, brings news of her upcoming challenge, while she's working at her father's gas station. Joseph, appalled at the idea that the baby isn't his, witnesses her pregnancy and, even after marriage, is not allowed to kiss Marie or see her nude, for Marie's fear that she will curse the child. The passive gender role often assigned to Virgin Mary is overturned as Marie controls Joseph with his own desires. A side-plot in which a Science teacher (Johan Leysen) and his student, Eva (Anne Gauthier), consider human evolution, reminds the viewer of the literal absurdity of a Virgin Birth while honoring its poetic mystery. Godard clearly respects this Biblical story, as he presents a multi-faceted view in this contemporized re-telling. Sophisticated cinematography features heavenly shots of sunbeams shining through clouds. Also on this DVD is The Book of Mary, a short film by Godard's collaborator, Anne-Marie Miéville, describing yet another ultimately doomed relationship between a couple (Bruno Cremer and Aurore Clément) who temporarily stay together as a sacrifice for their daughter, Marie (Rebecca Hampton). Questioning the judgment of those who remain together for the wrong reasons, this short amplifies Joseph's dedication in Hail Mary, adding depth to his character, both in the film and in the original, sacred version. --Trinie Dalton

Special Features

  • "Notes About Hail Mary" featurette
  • Foreign theatrical trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Myriem Roussel, Thierry Rode, Philippe Lacoste, Manon Andersen, Malachi Jara Kohan
  • Directors: Jean-Luc Godard
  • Writers: Jean-Luc Godard
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: French (Unknown)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: New Yorker Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 10, 2006
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000HC2LTE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #185,800 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Hail Mary" on IMDb

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 Verified Purchase
A masterpiece by Godard, which only recently the public at large can see. The film was considered heresy in many predominantly catholic countries and never shown. The american film The Last Temptation of Christ suffered a similar fate in the US, where theaters were equally threatened with violence. For a thorough analysis of those films quality, I will defer to experts. Suffice to say that happily in the West, we have chosen a rational path regarding controversial films rather than firebombing the theater or shooting the director.
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Format: DVD
In Hail Mary(1985) Godard has stripped away a lot of the theology and the clothes of the Biblical story and set it in modern Geneva. He has brought to this controversial film a lot of the enthusiasm and naivety of the 1st new wave to this 2nd wave effort. This is both richly textured by threads from both his 60s and 70s films,having multiple storylines that reflect both material and spiritual realms and abstract editing techniques. He organises scenes from two narratives. Hail Mary has characters and narrative. This alone makes it one of Godard's better films. The impulse of narration is driven by Mary(Roussel) a student who plays basket-ball and works in her father's petrol station. Her boyfriend Joseph(Rode) is a school drop-out who drives a cab. She becomes mysteriously pregnant while remaining a virgin, much to Joseph's irritability, being a young man with desires having courted her for 2 years. The angel Gabriel(Lacoste) arrives by plane to announce this and must school Joseph to accept Mary's pregnancy, while Mary comes to terms with God's plan through meditations that are sometimes angry and usually punctuated by elemental images of the sun, moon, clouds, flowers, and water. Godard intercuts a brief parallel story of a science teacher who believes human life came from extra-terrestrials whose affair with a student ends cynically.

We have 4 themes in this controversial film of 1985:1) the story of the Virgin Birth updated to modern times;2) that humans evolved from extra-terrestrials who seeded life here on earth; 3) the mystery of woman and human birth; 4)the nature of the soul and the body. The whole of nature is in concourse with the birth, the moon, the sun, the trees, water, quivering flowers, animals.
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