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Sister Smile

3.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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(Nov 23, 2010)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

"Back in late 1963, a Belgian nun known only as Soeur Sourire, or Sister Smile, topped America's pop music charts with the relentlessly cheerful tune "Dominique," from an album that sold 1.5 million copies. From the little that is known of the ill-fated nun's life, Roger Deutsch has made the boldly speculative yet persuasive Italian-language film "Suor Sorriso" in which the nun (Ginevra Colonna) emerges as a tormented, unstable woman who abruptly left the convent after her recording triumph before taking her final vows. Running a shelter for wayward girls, she and another ex-nun (Simona Caparrini) enter a passionate, tumultuous and destructive affair. Colonna's volcanic Deckers craves spiritual redemption as well as the other woman's love but is so beset by demons that she embarks on a flamboyant, drug-fueled downward spiral that ultimately engulfs her lover as well as herself." -Los Angeles Times. This film is in Italian with English subtitles.

Review

Beautifully photographed and full of disturbing surrealism and even more disturbing spirituality (and just a hint of stigmata), Sister Smile features a harrowing lead performance by Ginevra Colonna. --Los Angeles Weekly

A visionary dream, rich in poetry and which moves the spectator in unexpected ways. Honest and full of ideas. --Aut, Italy

With eloquent performances and delicate cinematography, Sister Smile travels from innocence to tragedy without a false note. --Chicago Tribune

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Antonio Salines, Ginevra Colonna, Simona Caparrini, Francesca Bianco
  • Directors: Roger Deutsch
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: MVD Visual
  • DVD Release Date: November 23, 2010
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003VC6F5I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #234,923 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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Don't waste your money on this movie! It is absolutely horrible and redolent of bad Italian horror films of the seventies. I'm not sure what the director had in mind but it is all wrong and has nothing to do with the real Sister Smile. The Belgian film "Souer Sourire" is much better in every way!
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Many years ago - 1963, to be precise - a song came out, and it quickly became popular all over the world. Perhaps you remember it, if you happened to be around during that time. It has a catchy melody that went "Dominique, nique, nique..." -- perhaps one of the most famous melodies of all time. I remember it being used by the marching bands from almost every high school in my city. Well, even though the song became a hit, I never thought about the singer - until now. The remarkable and unforgettable "Sister Smile - The Tragic Tale of the Singing Nun" tells us the story of this famous tune as well as its creator.

The original name of this Italian film is "Sour Sorriso," and it is directed by Roger Deutsch, who tried to follow the steps of Janine, the singer, and put together and speculative story about what happened to her. It begins with young Janine (Ginevra Colonna) taking only her guitar, secretly leaving home, and joining a convent. While there, she becomes popular due to her talent as a singer. She is persuaded by the other nuns to record her song. She successfully gets a record deal, and "Dominique" becomes an instant hit. However, just when things could not be better in her life, she unexpectedly leaves the convent. It is then that we realize that she is a troubled soul. She then finds shelter in a place that houses young women with addiction problems, and where she falls for Clara (Simona Caparrini), its manager. Again, just when we think that Janine has finally found happiness, she leaves the shelter, and a heart-broken Clara. Janine goes back home with her father, which apparently has great influence on her, and with whom she has a weird relationship. But, following a sad and tormented trend, she leaves home and continues a path of self-destruction.
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The real "Sister Smile" wasn't this out there. However, the director took some literary license with his story. For one, he presumes that once she leaves the Order, that she becomes a nymphomaniac, and out of control sociopathic narcissist.

Sr. was anything but that. She made a choice; and decided that music would be her life. But PHILIPS claimed the rights to the music. Then they stuck her for the back taxes, because the Church took the money. The combination of the two drove her to her death.

Je Voudrais or I'd like to be is perhaps the most touching thing she ever wrote. It's featured as bumper music throughout, perhaps to remind us as the audience that she really wanted more for herself. That part is absolutely true. She wanted to love God and others, but found a selfish world that took from her at every turn.

When she turned to drugs, alcohol, and allegedly an affair with her long-time female friend...it started to spiral downward. They are buried together; their grave always adorned with flowers, especially by disenfranchised Catholics, to symbolize their fellowship with hers.

It is her that is so lovely...this adaptation, eh-not so great!
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Words fail me in describing this piece of film junk. A disservice to the life of this woman. Read the D.A. Chadwick book instead. To add to the insult, the CD quality is below poor and the subtitles unreadable most of the time.Take the disc to the river and see how far you can toss it.
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I saw this at the movies and after seeing the Debbie Reynolds version, I wondered what it would be like.
I was not disappointed at all, well done and it gave me a whole new appreciation of what "The Singing Nun" endured and the hassles which were brought about by others and the others who made money from her skills and talent.
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