Hail Mary | Chicago Reader

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82 minutes
Blasphemy is just about the last thing on Jean-Luc Godard's mind in this modern-day (1985) transposition of the nativity story; just as he did in First Name: Carmen, Godard has placed a mythic story in a cramped everyday setting to see if there is still any connection between the immediate and the eternal, the flesh and the spirit, the purely fortuitous and the transcendently ordered. The mysteries are respected, and even evoked with awe during a ravishing centerpiece sequence that cuts between Mary's anguished attempts to understand what is happening to her body and a magisterial series of sunsets and landscapes. The real scandal, for anyone who has followed Godard through his Marxist period, is how much genuine spiritual longing the film contains—no longer content with a materialist analysis of the state of the world, he's attempting here to film the intangible. In French with subtitles.

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