MPAA Rated – Unrated
It’s 1:36 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Sylvie Testud
MPAA Rated: Unrated
Released By: Palisades Tartan
Release Date: 2010
Kiddie Movie: Only if they are advanced readers and want to be bored.
Date Movie: My BFF liked it, but expected something different.
Gratuitous Sex: Some hints of talk is about all.
Gratuitous Violence: Nah.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: A chuckle or two.
Memorable Scene: I can’t give it away – it would ruin the movie, but I had two of them.
Memorable Quote: Something in French.
Directed By: Jessica Hausner

Well that was totally different than I expected.  I’m talking about the movie “Lourdes,” and after I got through the annoyance of it being a French film and realizing that I would have to “read” the movie, and then realizing it wasn’t going to be exactly what I imagined a movie about Lourdes would be, suddenly, after watching the limited extras on the Blu-ray, namely the interview with the director, it all made perfect sense.  I will try not to give too much away about the movie during this review so that maybe you can discover its goodness for yourself, but let’s see how I do…

So there it is, on my list of Blu-rays to review, “Lourdes,” and I’ll be honest in saying that when I got the publicity sheet for the movie, well, I really didn’t read it other than a quick “One woman’s journey to Lourdes,” or something like that.  So, yup, I was instantly of the “Well, here we go, a nice, tightly-wrapped movie about some woman going to Lourdes and wanting to walk again, or something like that.  Maybe in a twist she gives up the miracle for someone else.  Ah, in any case it will probably be a feel-good film.” So I snuggled on the couch with my BFF, realized I would be a little annoyed because, yup, it’s English subtitled and therefore I couldn’t really multitask while watching if it was boring, and hunkered down for the evening.

As the movie starts we are introduced to Christine, (Sylvie Testud), and yes, she’s in a wheelchair so I’m instantly of the “She’s going to be cured!” attitude. It’s kind of a typical “group excursion” to Lourdes, but as we continue along, what it turned out to be, rather than a “Glory be to Lourdes, it heals people!,” this is a movie about people.  There isn’t anything flashy, anything grandiose, just a nice character study of the various types of people who might be visiting Lourdes, and those around the shrine.  There is the staff, some of whom have been there for years, understanding its importance to people, yet still sort of going through the motions of things like “Today we are going to go to the baths, so line up nicely and wait your turn,” to the volunteers who are there maybe to feel better about themselves, but maybe also just to hook up with the other staff members, and the priests, who do their best to explain the reasoning why some people are healed.  Then there are the people of the vacation/excursion group.  As you would expect, there are a lot of people with a variety of ills, being in wheelchairs or just having non-descript reasons for their journey.  Christine, as it turns out, is there maybe with a little wonder about the place, but as it’s also a group excursion spot, it’s also a vacation she can go on where the staff will help take care of her, similar to a trip she took to Rome.

So the days go on, there are trips to the baths, trips along the paths, prayer meetings, and as Christine is being pushed around Lourdes, we get to meet the people a little bit more, of which my favorite are, whom I call, the two biddies – there more to gossip than to pray, and reminding me of many an aunt that I have come across.

And I think I will stop my story synopsis at this point.  Why? Anything else gives too much away, too much for you to find on your own, too much for you to think about.  Is there a miracle? Yes. Sort of. Maybe.  Will the movie make you sad? Yes. Sort of. Maybe.  Will the movie make you happy? Yes. Sort of. Maybe. And in the end, after I watched the special feature on the Blu-ray, I really got it.

Yup, even though I had to “read” the movie, and even though it took watching the special feature on the Blu-ray to fully get it, I’ve got to give “Lourdes” 4 stars out of 5.  It’s probably not what you might think it’s going to be, I know it wasn’t what I thought what it would be, but when all was said and done, upon further reflection, I’m sticking with the 4 stars.  It turned out to be a realistic movie rather than a preaching movie, and I liked that.

As far as extras on the Blu-ray, I’d say they aren’t really worth it, as most of them are trailers, but the interview with the Director, Jessica Hausner, is priceless, especially in fully understanding the end results of the movie.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!