A priest from the Vatican is sent to Sao Paulo, Brazil to investigate the appearance of the face of the Virgin Mary on the side of a building. While there he hears of a statue of the Virgin Mary bleeding tears in a small town outside of the city. Meanwhile, a young woman in the U.S. begins to show signs of stigmata, the wounds of Christ. The priest from the Vatican links up with her and cares for her as she is increasingly afflicted by the stigmata. Her ranting and raving finally begins to make sense to the priest who starts to question what his religion has stood for for the last 1900 years.Written by
Jeff Mellinger <email@example.com>
Patricia Arquette and Portia De Rossi have both worked with Wes Craven, Arquette on Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors (1987), and De Rossi on Scream 2 (1997) (which also featured Patricia's brother David), and Cursed (2005). See more »
In the scenes in Brazil, people are speaking Spanish and Portuguese with Portuguese accents, not Brazilian accent. It would be like an American countryside movie with English actors playing the roles with cockney accent. See more »
The DVD release offers several scenes that were edited, reshot, or removed altogether after poor test screenings. Glimpses of several of these scenes can be seen in the movie's original theatrical trailer (also included on the DVD):
An alternate opening where Father Almeida commits suicide by jumping off of the roof of his church. In the final cut, there is no indication as to how he died.
A longer, much more explicit version of Frankie and her boyfriend Steve fooling around during the opening credits.
Before Frankie's first stimagtic attack, she experiences a series of strange occurances while closing her hair salon.
Also, before Frankie's first stigmatic attack, she comes home and is scared by her boyfriend Steve. The two have an argument.
Stigmata was a very watchable interesting film which is engaging and thought provoking. It's certainly not a perfect movie but in patches was excellent, and the mood of the film was just right. It was suprisingly "non-hollywood" in many respects and very understated if you look beyond the gore of the mutilation and stigmata scenes.
My only major gripe with the movie was the sometimes ludicrous way that characters close to Frankie (Patricia Arquette) seemed unwilling to take her seriously or believe her affliction despite the fact that they witnessed amazing supernatural events first hand. Her best mate who told her to chill out and relax because it was a Friday night, having seen this event earlier in the week, bordered on high farce. Surely all the doctors, clergy and news reporters in the world would have been at her bedside after seeing the train video camera of this event?
Anyway, this aside, many other aspects of the film were first rate and I was pleased the DVD version had the alternate and, in my opinion, better ending (subtle though the difference is). Comparisons with the Exorcist seem to cloud the opinions of many people in relation to this film, and my advice would be just to watch it and take it for what it is. The concept is quite original and the examination of faith and the modern church is interesting. Certainly I wouldn't say the film was anti-religious, in fact in many respects it adds weight to religious belief as the concept introduces the stigmata phenomenom to the audience.
Overall, very good, 7 out of 10.
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