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Unfortunately, amid Stigmata's high-octane editing and slick technique, the chills of The Exorcist aren't there, giving the movie a sort of identity crisis: horror movie or intellectual thriller? Several elements of the film challenge basic tenets of the Catholic faith, hence the brief furor that erupted at the time of the film's release; if nothing else, the internal workings of the Church are shown in a very unflattering light indeed. Byrne excels as the skeptical priest, as does Arquette as the tortured young woman. All told, Stigmata is a rather uneven effort, but one with a thought-provoking combination of theology and thrills served up in a thoroughly modern, stylish package. Fans of TV's Ally McBeal will recognize Portia DeRossi in a supporting role. --Jerry Renshaw
- Deleted Scenes
- Director's Alternate Ending
- Natalie Imbruglia Music Video
- Collectible 8-Page Booklet
Top Customer Reviews
I can't possibly imagine what the critics did not like about this well paced, well acted thriller.
At the least it is the most underrated movie of the year.
One note...Inside the booklet that comes in the DVD case, there is a letter from the Director. It explains that the DVD comes with an alternate ending, and to please watch the entire movie WITH the alternate ending (as opposed to watching the alternate ending as a seperate scene after viewing the theatrical version). And sure enough, when you click "play movie" from the main menu, you must make a choice. Go with the directors cut. I viewed the theatrical ending after I watched the directors cut, and the film lost it's impact.
The transfer to DVD is excellent, and the sound is fine. There is nothing muddy or muddled about this movie. And although the subject of stigmata has been handled before,I guarantee that you have never seen it handled like this. I was thoroughly entertained from start to finish by this fine movie. If you are on the fence about buying stigmata, go for it. It's the best thriller I have seen in a while.
What IS outstanding about Stigmata is acting. Indeed, Patricia Arquette gives one of her best performances as fate-struck Frankie; Jonathan Pryce excels at the role of the smooth-mannered evil cardinal; and... yes, my favourite Irishman... Gabriel Byrne is just dazzling as self-denying Father Kiernan. No doubt, he is the spiritual and emotional centre of the whole story, and he suggests that in a gentle, elegant way throughout the film. Paradoxically, Byrne calls the viewer to root for his character even more than Arquette does for her own victim figure. Director Rupert Wainwright also deserves applause for tactful storyhandling, beautiful imaging, and, very importantly, for leaving space for his actors to play out their characters in their full complexity. I think, to finish with, that this movie is a fine one and well worth seeing on DVD, but certainly not for the weak.
If you go into the movie believing it's the "Next Exorcist" plot-wise, you will be horribly disappointed. The only ties between the two movies are the use and discussion of religion, religious beliefs, and figures, and possession itself. The experiences of both Frankie Paige (Patricia Arquette) and the Exorcist's leading character, Reagan (Linda Blair) are drastically different. Whereas Reagan was possessed by a demonic spirit for cruel reasons of it's own, Frankie experiences an extremely different sort of possession. Frankie became possessed by the spirit of a recently deceased priest, Paolo Alameida.
Father Alameida, along with two other priests, had been working together to translate a document found near the site of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in Jerusalem. The document is entirely in Aramaic - the language believed to be used during the time of Jesus. The three priests begin to believe that the words in this document are actually words spoken by the living Jesus Christ at the time of his last supper, telling his Disciples how to continue his church after his crucifixion.
Once word began to spread in the Catholic church about the gospel (and how damaging it's content would be to the church itself), the three priests were discommunicated and exiled, with Father Alameida relocating to Bel Quinto, Brazil, where he would head a church, and eventually commit suicide before the translation was finished.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Awesome movie... definitely keeps you interested and on the edge of your seatPublished 4 days ago by Carrie Thomas
Great Movie, needed CD had VHS Was exactly what I was expecting.Published 2 months ago by Lisa Anseeney
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