Movies: The Apparition, Pick of the Litter, The Nun

The Apparition

This is a fascinating peek at what might happen or has happened when an apparition occurs somewhere in the world, in this case a remote French village.  The Vatican recruits a respected French journalist to conduct a committee to determine the legitimacy of an apparition of the Virgin Mary.

It doesn’t take long before the many and varied interests present themselves.  There are believers and skeptics abound with both awe and angst.

The core cast is small.  Vincent Lindon is perfect as the journalist.   Galatea Bellugi delivers a powerful role as the novitiate nun.  Anatole Tauman did a good job as the opportunist.  Romanian actress Elina Lowensohn is excellent as the Doctor.

All that said, while interesting, the film falls short.  It simply does not deliver a conclusion one way or another.  That is frustrating when you have invested 2 hours, 24 minutes.  This film is listed as a Drama and is not rated.  French and Italian with English subtitles.

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Pick of the Litter

Here is a charming Sundance documentary film about five puppies who are selected and groomed from birth and trained on several levels to be guide dogs to the blind.  The story spans an intense two years of training and the many stages of evaluation for these pups.  Not all of them make the grade.

It is a delight to watch as these little critters grow, learn, fail, and overcome the challenges before being matched with blind persons.  Equally interesting is the process.  At eight weeks the pups are farmed out to “puppy raisers” for their initial training and onward to 16 months of training and development.

This documentary is not rated with a run time of 81 minutes.

Surprise note:  Our screening was followed by a Q & A with the Writer/Director Dana Nachman, and two of the people in the movie and two of the dogs.  We learned all the puppies were born in San Rafael, CA.  Raised and trained in the Bay Area.  It is clearly our “pick of the week”!  J&J

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The Nun

The film is set in 1952 Romania.  Humm…Romania…home of Transylvania, Dracula and a host of dark stuff dating back centuries!  The film itself is super creepy, disturbing, often frightening and consistently intense.  This story is a spin off of the 2016 Conjuring 2 and the fifth installment in the The Conjuring Universe.

The acting is pretty good.  The cast includes Taissa Farmiga as Sister Irene and Bonnie Aarons as Sister Victoria.  Demian Bichir plays the male lead as Father Burke.  Belgian actor Jonas Bloquet is excellent as the character Frenchie.  The next dozen actors fill in the rest of the cast.

The film has been rated R for terror, violence, and disturbing/bloody images.  It is absolutely NOT appropriate for children!  We do not recommend viewing it alone or late at night.  It’s listed genre is Horror running 96 minutes.

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