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Lourdes Review

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A wheelchair-bound woman makes a life-changing pilgrimage to Lourdes to escape her isolation.

★★★★

AUSTRIAN JESSICA HAUSNER refuses to betray whether she’s being inspirational or ironic in this astute amalgam of the devotional and the droll.

Returning to Lourdes as much for a vacation as any expectation of a cure for her MS, wheelchair-bound Sylvie Testud is fussed over by chirpy nun Elina Löwensohn and pious roommate Gilette Barbier, while she fixates on the relationship between carer Léa Seydoux and charity worker Bruno Todeschini.

Examining the physical and psychological nature of the miraculous, while also using Martin Gschlacht’s discreet but wryly watchful photography to question the morality of the Marian shrine and its sometimes dubious ancilliaries, this is as much a subversive black comedy as a reverential treatise on spirituality.

As much a subversive black comedy as a reverential treatise on spirituality.

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