A priest from the Vatican is sent in to investigate claims that a small town in Brazil has a church where statues bleed from the eyes. 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.
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First off, Stigmata can't really be compared to the Excorcist (Stigmata deals with possesion by a priest who was trying to convey a new gospel, as with the Exorcist dealt with Satanic possesion), and all of the information regarding the Stigmata is true - just check out the included booklet. The video quality in this title is very well done, and everything comes across as cleanly as you would expect from a dvd (despite no animorphic format). The 5.1 surround is also a plus, as the eerie score comes at you from all directions. In terms of extras, you get an extra ending (which, in my opinion, makes everything fall together better), a music video, and the directors commentary. There are some disturbing images in this movie, and its not perfect in any means - but it is NOT trying to be "Excorcist 2000". Good movie, good quality = great DVD.
I don't understand the criticism on this movie but I thought it was wonderful. Maybe, many do not know about the lost "bibles" by Thomas, Madeline, etc. But most of what this movie is about is regarding the lost bibles and what they imply to the point that would be understandble why it makes the Vatican shaking in their boots. A profound movie, you won't be disappointed!
Within minutes, I had decided I would like this movie. The photography, acting, and sense of mystery were vivid and palpable. I enjoyed the shift between sacred ritual and gritty lower-class dialogue. The plot, initially, pulled me in without telegraphing all its secrets. Arquette in particular continues a career of great performances; this lady can act! But, as I reached the conclusion, I couldn't help but wonder if the screenwriters got confused on which direction they were headed. At some points, Arquette's character is clearly antagonistic toward priests and nuns--ala "The Exorcist" in a few scenes--but later we're told she's the messenger for Jesus's words as revealed through the departed spirit of a Brazilian Catholic priest. The messenger premise would've worked without the apparent presence of a demonic force. The use of the stigmata to validate her message was gripping and effective--if only the end hadn't muddied their purpose. I must, however, give a nod to the final message itself...No, Jesus doesn't only inhabit buildings of stone and wood; he wants to live within us. That, at least, deserves an Amen.
Stigmata: Marks or sores corresponding to the wounds of Jesus Christ.Through the ages the most devout Christians have suffered what Christsuffered on the cross- but with no logical explanation.Gabriel Byrne plays Father Andrew Kiernan, a priest and devout member ortheVatican in Rome. Father Kiernan also happens to have a degree in OrganicChemistry. Because of his scientific background, he is assigned toinvestigate miracles that happen all over the world.Patricia Arquette is a beautician in New York City. She lives her lifeday-to-day cutting hair, doing peoples nails, going to grunge clubs atnight, and she doesn't believe in God. She's a happy member of the"generation x" society. (Not that all "gen x-ers are Atheists.) Shefindsherself losing control of her body and things that happen to her. To herdisadvantage, it always happens when she is alone. In typical Hollywoodstyle it is always raining, there are always 50 candles burning, and she'salways soaking in the tub with no soap or bubble bath (doesn'teveryone).The message of the movie is meaningless. Anyone who wants to see thisbecause they loved The Sixth Sense should stay away. In anotheruniverse-ifthis was shot by a small independent film studio- it might have a chance.You'll find yourself sitting in the theatre checking your watch because ittakes forever for anything to really happen. Wait for it onvideo.
Finally there is a movie that worth a damn watching involving priests. Imean, sure, Exorcist... pretty disturbing, pretty good at that. But Stigmatabrings a sort of unique blend of neoclassicism with more of a narcissisticapproach-- HEY! WHAT THE HELL DOES ALL THAT MEAN?!? BETTER YET, WHAT'S ITALL WORTH?! NOTHING, so go talk to your self in the corner, loser. As I wassaying, 'Stigmata' is the BEST religion, Satan, Antichrist-like,oogie-boogie movie I've seen... EVER. Great stuff! Frankie Page, played bythe everso sexy Patricia Arquette, is the protagonist in the whole story--oops, big word, huh?-- rather, she is the main character who mysteriouslyreceives the "stigmata," which are the wounds that Christ endured in hisfinal hours. Gabriel Byrne, playing Father Keirnan, a Vaticaninvestigator/priest-- kind of like Dick Tracy meets the Pope, does anoutstanding job playing a truly human character: a priest who can honestlyexplain his struggle with being a member of the cloth, a priest. His honestybrings together an interesting relationship between the suffering Frankieand himself. The film gave me a real hanging-on-the-edge-of-my-seat kind offeeling. Like wildfire, Frankie can ignite into a new phase of the stigmatawithout warning. [I'm still trying to find the significance of the reversaldrops of water.] Pictures flashing of ... well, I can't say everythingabout the damned film, ya just gotta see it. So, without furtherado....Love,Comm MajorPS "A 10! A f*ckin' 10!"
The film is brilliant and has more truth in it than religious nutters would like you to think about. The best quote : After a stigmata attack Priest:"Its a gift from God" Patricia :"Can I give it back?" Enjoy the film.I did.
Stigmata is by far one of the best movies I've seen- it is really incredible in comparison with other movies that try to achieve its success.This movie is strange, and sometimes even slightly sinister in its portrayal of a woman named Frankie Paige in New York (Patricia Arquette) who is afflicted with the Stigmata, or the wounds of Christ. An open minded priest (Gabriel Byrne) ends up meeting with her, and is extremely surprised to find that this claim of Stigmata occurences is true, despite the fact that Frankie doesn't go to church. In fact, Frankie isn't very religious at all, and lives the shallow, hip life of a partying hairstylist. The contrast between the Church and the life of this young woman is brilliant and stunningly effective.The rest of the movie is spent discovering more about the situation that Frankie is in, and the possible implications it could have to the church, and to the religion itself. In the end this movie is a deeply thought provoking exploration of religion itself, how everything that is accepted by the church may not be the truth, and how what many of us follow could be completely backwards. It really makes you think.This already strong movie is further enhanced with the visual effects- so much so that you could buy this movie just for the incredible scenes. All of the wounds of Christ shown in the film are very realistically, enough so that many squeamish people may have to turn away from the screen during these moments. The the way the wounds are shown to occur (chaotically, and in sudden flashses) is incredible, adding to the suspense. Also, in the climax of the film there is one particularly rewarding scene which you might just have to watch over and over (it's too cool!)This movie is definitely and incredible achievment in filmaking, with a great and intellectual plot expressed with beauty. Some people may not like it as much if they are sensitive to graphic scenes, or if they don't like content that has to do with religion. However, for the majority of people who see it, this movie is a greatly rewarding and enjoyable experience.
A film about a priest who lost faith, corruption in the Vatican and a girlwith some holes in her hands in the middle of all that. It's verypredictible, you're not gonna be surprised by this film. The music score isfrom Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpinks). It's probable the best part of thefilm. I wonder, who put all these candle's on????
*Spoiler alert*Stigmata is my first DVD movie experience. I'm glad I rented it and didn'tpay full theater price to see this schlock fest! Stigmata is entertaining,in a super dumb kind of way but when you start thinking about it, this movieis truly terrible! Pure trash. Good looking trash, though. The title ismisleading. Frankie (Arquette) doesn't really experience a true stigmataphenomena but a possession, like The Exorcist, which, for no given reason,manifests itself first as over the top stigmatas. The stigmata moments areludicrously violent and inexplicably powerful (almost derailing a subwaytrain!?! Yeah, right!).Arquette is possessed by the spirit of a dead priest for the mostunconvincing reason, a stolen rosery (that belonged to the priest) sent toher by her mother! The film is an insult to anyone with any intelligence,but it's really insulting to Catholics. Stigmatas are the manifestation ofChrist's suffering on the cross via the body of the person who is a truebeliever in the faith. In the movie, Arquette is violently tossed and thrownin every direction like a rag doll, not because she's feeling Christ's painor because she's a devout Catholic but because she's possessed by the spiritof the priest, who, for no given reason, is capable of creating and usingstigmatas to catch Arquette's, the Priests' (and the audience's) attention,all for his life long purpose: he wants to bring down the institution of theCatholic Church with newly discovered words presumably spoken/written byChrist, that are dangerous to the Vatican's existence. Uh? Is this supposedto be good, something to cheer for? Also, why didn't the dead priest try toexpose the Church when he was alive? How can the spirit of a mortal priestcreate stigmatas, something only divine spirits can do? The whole filmdoesn't make any sense. One only has to listen to the Director's comments on the DVD to realize thatthey had no clue over what they were doing or had any respect for anything.Wainwright's comments have to be heard to be believed. It's so hilarious.The best thing about the DVD. He confuses the film's setting betweenPittsburg and Boston. If the director can't get which ever city the storywas taking place in, it's no wonder Stigmata is has dumb as it is.
I must say that this movie is one of the best I have seen in a long time. It totally engrosses you in the film's plot, and is suprisingly upliftingrather than the depressing sort of feel the previews give the movie. Ratherthan a horror film, this movie is more of a drama. From start the finish,the slowest moments still keep you interested and wondering what is going tohappen next. It has been compared to The Exorcist, but other than priestsbeing featured in the movie, they films are nothing alike. The one thingthat truly makes this movie unique is how it makes you think. It seems inthe brainless world of Hollywood today, movies are an escape from thinking. It is not often that there is a movie that makes you examine your life andlook at your beliefs. This is not an anti-God movie at all, so if you areCatholic or any other religion, as long as you keep a slightly open mind,this is a movie you should really enjoy.
This review is from: Stigmata (DVD) I was raised in the Catholic church and my thoughts and feelings towards the church or any other church for that matter is portrayed in this film. Stigmata is fiction based on historic fact. It doesn't deserve the "horror film" category. I actually don't know what category it belongs in, and it doesn't really matter. What matters is the message in this film. If the entire population of this world we live in would believe (as I do) that God is not restricted to the four walls of some man-made building, organized religion would cease to exist. God is where you choose to find Him, which means He's everywhere you need him to be, and most importantly, He lives inside each and everyone of us which makes the search for God and His love an easy task. Look past the surface of this movie and instead, look to understand the meaning behind it.
The bath overflows with the pain of no fulfillment spilling across stained tiles, spattering it with the crimson of a time forgotten. The city lights blare through windows that reach into the heavens offering no cover from its tears.If you like this kind of pretentious garbage conjuring up images that lack any meaning then this film is for you! The film itself does offer an interesting take on church politics (that's why I didn't give it a 1) which has definitely picked up steam as a sub-genre thanks to "The Da Vinci Code", but it loses itself in a war of stylistic nonsense over substance. The cinematography is great, freeze any frame in the film and you'll have an amazing photo but if you cut out most of the emphasis on the rain, dripping ceiling, never ending array of lit candles, car lights cutting through the dark you'd have a much shorter, straight to the point film. I didn't hate all of this, as a matter of fact it did add to the story in a grimy, uncomfortable way (the heavy clothes she wears looks like a burden on her) however, the filmmakers rely so much on it that it becomes a sensory overload that's not worth the payoff. No spoilers about that payoff but when I figured it out midway I wasn't happy that I still had another hour of this to go.
I am not a completely religious person. I believe in a God, perhaps not theone that is in the Bible, but I do believe in one. I do not attend church,I lost my faith in them years ago when I found them to be just ashypocritical as my fellow man. I have read the Bible twice and find it tobe an interesting story but full of flaws. But I do fear the God or theDeity that I believe in, so having said that I got a great deal out of thefilm. Did I enjoy it? Absolutely! Does it challenge the very foundationthat the church has stood on for 2000 years? That is another absolute. Soif you are a weak minded Catholic or a person that thinks that religion is asubject that should not be questioned or doubted then perhaps you willexpect me to say that a film like this is not something that you shouldattend. But I don't feel that way at all. I feel the exact oppositereally. To me this is a film that especially deeply religious people shouldsee. Because this film asks so many questions and it doesn't stop orappologize for doing so. To me, organized religion is not what it issupposed to be, and Stigmata feels the same way and it has somethingimportant to say, and if you can go in with an open mind you may actuallyenjoy it and learn something in the process.Many people will probably tell you what this movie is about in great lengthsso I'll skip the narrative part concerning the plot. You all know that itis about a woman that seems to be getting the same wounds that Christ didwhile he was being crucified. It is up to Father Andrew Kiernan to try andsave her. It is an interesting story and it is done beautifully. This filmgave me chills at least three times. The strength of this film is first ofall the actors, but what has to be mentioned first and foremost is thedirector and the editors.Robert Wainright is a relative newcomer to the business but he paces thefilm to perfection. He keeps you guessing as to when the next sign of theStigmata is going to strike and when he wants you to be afraid, hemanipulates you with gripping authority. But the editting is what reallymakes this movie as good and as tense as it is. Michael Millar and MichaelDuthie are both veterans of the business, and if you are a fan of Tombstonethe way I am, then you may be a fan of Duthies. Tombstone was fast andfrenzied, especially in the O.K. Corral gunfight scene. Here he does amasterful job with this film, especially when Frankie is recieving herStigmata like wounds. When you see the disturbing images of nails and whipsand crowns of thorns, you actually cringe and slump in your chair at theimages and thoughts. This editting is as good as JFK or Jaws. I think religion confuses everyone. It has to. It is ( as far as I know )the only thing in this world that has no irrefutable proof to say that whatit subscribes to is real, yet billions and billions of people swear by it.Whether it be Jesus Christ, Allah or Buddha, people want and need to believein a higher power. But Santa Clause and Greek myth are also just storiesand they are simply things that we get pleasure out of but we know are notreal. So religion is all based on faith. And if that is the case, thensome people have to have questions. And that includes me. And perhaps thatis why I enjoyed Stigmata so much. It dares to ask questions that manydon't ask or don't want the answers to. But if you see this film, take thetime to talk and think about if after. And listen to what it has to say. It raises some valid points about the church, Vatican and organized religionin general, and that is not me being anti-religious, that is just the truth. Not only is Stigmata well made but it is scary, and perhaps that is all thatsome people want when they go to the show. So you are in the right place ifyou want to carry on the tradition of Blair Witch and Sixth Sense. Thereare some scary moments and there is a great deal of atmosphere in here. SoStigmata has something for everyone. But if you are like me and you openlyhave many questions about the Bible, perhaps The Koran, Adam and Eve, thechurch and any number of religious staples, then Stigmata is definetly afilm that you should see, and perhaps more than once. I want to see itagain so I can pick up on all the tiny subtleties I missed before. Sort oflike Angel Heart, another film not liked by the critics but did a hell of ajob of making you feel creepy. This is a great film and it deserves to beseen.
I would have to say that this was one of the worst movies I've seen ever. Did they do any research for this movie at all? It doesn't appear that theydid with countless amounts of inaccurate information that I won't even beginto go into. But even if you forget about that and just treat the film as awork of fiction, it is still very bad. I would have to say that the actorstry to make it work, but with a script like this and with constant annoyingthings flashing across the screen, it is impossible for them to save thismovie. The background of the movie looked fake, countless pieces ofinformation were conveniantly left out, and the cinematography was horrible.10 minutes into the movie, I thought I was watching a music video, withsome kind of horrible blend of music going and blurredimages.It's really makes me mad the way $32 million can be spent and such a badmovie comes out. As moviegoers, we have to make a statement that we're notgoing to watch movies, unless the film makers put some effort into theirpicture, do research, and come up with the best possible picture that theycan. If we accept mediocraty, that's what we'll get. And an original moviehere and there wouldn't be bad, either. And one last thing, please takethis movie out of the horror section. It's not a scary movie, it's adisgusting movie. If you want to see a scary movie, see TheShining.
A scary, intelligent, and surprisingly thought provokingmovie.Before you get the wrong impression: Stigmata is NOT a modern-day Exorcist. While the Exorcist relied on the shocking horror of demons and thewonderfully ghastly images of a little girl turned hell-spawn, Stigmatatakes it down a notch, but replaces that sense of horror with wonderfullywritten suspense.When I began to see the previews for this movie, I knew there was a verygood chance that the movie would, out of lack of a better term, ROCK. Onlytwo things could have spoiled this movie: A closed mind...and if the actorswere not convincing. Luckily, neither happened. Mark Adair-Rios, the priest and co-lead of thismovie was simply astounding. He played a character that was both ridged andobjective, but also very human. I think a lot of people will like how heportrays a priest with such touchable humanity. On to Patricia Arquette: Spectacular. Again, a very human, believable character, yet one hauntedwith, not only terrifying events and emotions, but also the unknown forcesthat plague her. About the only character I had a problem with was theToken-Bad-Guy-Priest, played by Jonathan Pryce. An excellent actor, but thecharacter has been over-done in too many other movies. This is nothing thatwill distract from the film, however, and I won't be surprised if this moviegrabs some Oscars. As for the closed mind and faith? That's up to the individual. Hard-corebelievers of the church should be warned this may be a little hard for youto take. Try it out, just remember...it's only a movie....????On to the visual. VERY nice atmosphere. Rain, urban decay, and Rave meetspomp, religion and Hell. Reminds me of a few brighter episodes of theX-Files...only with a style all it's own. More on the rain: wonderful useof water as a prop, not just a background mood device. Symbolism iseverywhere in this movie, and not so obvious that you groan every time adove flies by. Very nice. On to the audio. Billy Corgan is a GOD of music. The soundtrack for thismovie is spectacular, and blends seamlessly into the visual aspects. Notonly that, but it actually ADDS to the movie instead of just sitting in thebackground. The artist-songs are also very well picked and placed. Ican't recall such a cool sound since, maybe, Crimson Tide.If you like this genre of movie, I suggest checking out The Prophecy andit's sequel. I give this movie a full 10/10 because in my mind, it was oneof the best movies of the season. It's been quite an amazing summer forscary movies, and Stigmata easily holds it's own.
There's been enough commentary for both sides of this film. I would have to agree that it is gravely misinformed when it comes to "lost gospels" and the real intention of the Catholic Church. I assure you that the Catholic Church's intention is not to "hide the truth" from us common folk; and I also assure you that the Church does not accept "lost gospels" because they show evidence contrary to the Church's belief, and in turn, the Church is in fear of its inability to stay in "power." Investigations on these new findings (such as the gospel of St. Thomas, the Dead Sea Scrolls-which have been deemed authentic by the Catholic Church, the book of Mormon, etc.) are done with incredible and tedious detail and are deeply analyzed. So, for the Church not to recognize the authenticity of a lost gospel means that they specifically found something that suggested it was not real. And the weird love relationship between the priest and the "atheist." Puh-lease. Sworn to celibacy and that easily tempted? God save us if our Catholic priests were that lecherous and vulnerable....On the DVD and film itself - I found the clip titled, "Frankie and Steve Get It On" unnecessary, and might I add, very pervertedly titled. Where the makers of this film serious at all? Arquette's character named after St. Francis of Asissi? Pass the cheese, please. I'm sure St. Francis is honored to have a "devout atheist" named after him. Endnote: a disgraceful and twisted portrayal of a beautiful religion, not to mention its inaccuracy of portraying an exorcism.
An ambitious project that falls short because it tries too hard to be more than it is, "Stigmata," directed by Rupert Wainwright proffers itself on one hand as a scholarly endeavor, while on the other it gives way to blatant sensationalism. Writers Tom Lazarus and Rick Ramage use the pretext of examining the suppression of the Gospel of Thomas to weave an unlikely story of a young woman, Frankie Paige (Patricia Arquette), an atheist living in Pittsburgh, who is afflicted with the stigmata. Ultimately, the Vatican sends in Father Andrew Kiernan (Gabriel Byrne) to investigate. Kiernan is not only a priest, but a scientist; his job is to travel the world and document alleged miracles or supernatural occurrences with overtones that may have some bearing on the Universal Church. It's an interesting premise, somewhat engrossing up to a point, and something of a mystery; enough, in fact, that the writers should have quit while they were somewhat ahead. Instead they attempted to add more intrigue to the mystery by introducing subjective ruminations concerning corrupt political machinations of the Church into the story, specifically in the guise of one Cardinal Daniel Houseman (Jonathan Pryce), who seems bent on keeping the "truth" about the "real" teachings of Jesus hidden away. And why? To protect the Church. It asserts that the Church is more interested in icons and wealth than it is about evangelizing the Word of The Living God, and it's just not so. The disturbing thing about it is that it's told in such a way as to have the audience believe that there is some basis in truth to it all, including a brief epilogue that attempts to give it the credibility of documentation. All it does, however, is take a somewhat entertaining piece of fiction down to the level of tabloid exploitation that casts a pall over the entire project. Which is a shame, because taken at face value and purely as entertainment, this is a decent movie, with notable performances, especially by Arquette and Byrne. Pryce unfortunately doesn't come off quite as well, but it has nothing to do with his ability as an actor; it's more a case of the messenger taking one for the team. There was really little he could do with his character, as it was written to be a means to an end, inundated with cliche and totally lacking in credibility. It's a shame that an actor of Pryce's stature should have been shackled with such a role, though presumably he was not forced to do it; to which one can only say that even good actors occasionally make bad choices. Besides Lazarus and Ramage, director Wainwright is culpable as well, for attempting to sell a story of unsound (and unfounded) theological postulations to an unsuspecting audience (but then again, that's his job). But it lands him in some pretty murky waters; better he should have stayed within the waters of Spielberg and "Jaws," rather than make a shallow imitation of "The Exorcist" minus the integrity of that film. In the final analysis, "Stigmata" is a movie about faith and truth that is inherently dishonest, which makes it nothing less than contradictory at it's core. Performance wise and visually, it has it's moments; unfortunately, all of the positive aspects of the film are denigrated by the message. And that's a shame. Wainwright and his writers blind-sided themselves simply by trying to be too clever. Hopefully in future endeavors they will have more respect for their audience.
It helps to have a Catholic background and an open mind to view this film.A knowledge of saints and exorcism is also helpful. The mysticism of theCatholic church such as stigmata and exorcism and saintleness is given anewspin in this modern drama.
A more bone-chilling experience is trying to solve the mystery of whether Arquette, Gabriel Byrne, as the Vatican priest trying to save her, and Nia Long, as the best friend on stand-by, needed to be in a hit this badly.
STAR RATING:*****Unmissable****Very Good***Okay**You Could Go Out For A MealInstead*Avoid At All CostsI expected the execution of Stigmata to be like it was adapted from a DeanCoontz novel.Instead,too much of it was in this not entirely inspiringmodern day approach,involving fast camera visuals and loud,blatant ravemusic.It had a concept that would have probably worked out better as anovel,wherein perhaps the intriguing and rather disturbing subject mattercould have been explored deeper into the reader's subconscious,and developedinto greater detail.The real scary elements of the film all involve shocktactics and,in this case,special effects designed to shock and scarepresumably.Patricia Arquette's,an actress we hav'nt seen a lot of in quite awhile,charecter inspiredly started off as a not particularly likeableperson,then developed into a more broader minded individual,and developed apretty convincing relationship with Gabriel Byrne's priest.Thedirection,however sags,and the scenes involving Arquette talking like a manare an update of The Exorcist to the '90's.Stigmata is worth watching forit's good points,but it's let downs will also be noted ifcaught.***