I'm sorry to write this....
wolfgang731 | 01/30/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"...because I feel I'm being, in some way, sacrilegious but this film was a very poor attempt to portray an extraordinary person, at least in my life. I am a Catholic and have been devout to the St. Therese of Lisieux for most of my adult life and I was really looking forward to this film. Like many of the other reviewers, I have also seen the French film of the same title and found it a far more rewarding experience than this new production. The movie plays out like a religious Anne of Green Gables, with a Hallmark film quality that manages to gloss over everything to the point of making every character come across as one-dimensional cut outs of piety and wholesomeness. Having read Story of a Soul, I know that Therese was not a faultless divine creation, but rather a very human woman with an extraordinary devotion to, love for and faith in God. Everyone is so saccharine sweet and perfect that it bordered on the sickening. It just wasn't believable. Even more so, using the same actress to portray Therese from the age of 14 to 24 was an insane idea (Lindsay Younce was 21 at the time of filming). Not only do we not witness her spiritual growth but there is no sense of the passing of time. The acting is a bit pedestrian and the dialogue an exercise in stilted screenwriting, the music hockey and contrived, but the production values are high and the movie has beautiful look to it. No doubt everyone's heart was in the right place but this is just not the kind of film that will really shed any light on Therese Martin, woman and Saint."
A Great Disappointment
Susan M. Evans | Australia | 03/11/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I have always loved St. Theresa, the Little Flower. Like the other reviewer, I looked forward to seeing this movie. I am a Traditional Catholic and thought that finally here was a great movie that would portray her life in a realistic and sacred manner.
I was so shocked as scene after disappointing scene unfolded. The music was beautiful but became monotonous after a while, as it never changed ambiance. The costumes deserve great credit but the acting in most part, especially the scenes inside the monastery, were clumsy and childishly scripted. The acting was stilted and forced. It seems that no attempt was made to really understand Carmelite comportment and behaviour. The scenes of scorn from the nuns, the ungainly gestures and the ludicrous 'dance' into the refectory were totally uncharacteristic of instinctive religious behaviour. The nuns also appeared to 'stride' around, as can be seen in the garden scene. There is not one single scene of St. Thesea attending Mass, or any beautiful shots inside a church, or Cathedral, etc. These things are all very important.
An over exaggeration has been applied to the concept of French family affections. The eight year old ill Therese was played by a grown girl, which looked rediculous, especially with full length shots of her writhing around in her sick bed in a very unladylike manner!
Stay on the safe side and buy the older movies on St. Theresa!
Sappia | New York, New York United States | 09/27/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"For anyone who has read The Story of a Soul, Therese's letters, or any of the well-done biographies about her and her family members--this movie is going to be a massive disappointment. Biographically, it is grossly inaccurate which in turn distorts beyond recognition the spirituality of Therese's "Little Way." For example, in the movie the adult actress plays scenes that ought to have been done by a child actress. Therese was overly scrupulous as a little girl (until age 13 or so). To have an adult Therese whimpering about having eaten too much cake (and worrying if she's therefore a glutton) makes her seem absurd. Another scene, once she's a nun, in the washroom where another nun repeatedly splashes water in Therese's face is the opposite of what happened in reality. In the movie, Therese grits her teeth, tries to overcome her irritation, and ends by giggling sheepishly and splashing the other nun back. Gag.
What the real Therese tried to do was offer up lovingly and cheerfully the minor irritations (and at times major suffering) caused by her fellow nuns. In her autobiography, she describes how difficult it was for her to put up with being splashed inadvertently by a zealous nun who washed the laundry next to her. Therese did not splash her back. She did not draw attention to the incident. She silently battled her irritation, ignored the splashing, and did not in any exterior way let the other nun know she was bothered. At the same time, interiorly, she did her best to focus on loving God and her fellow nun. She tried to keep herself from getting absorbed by her feelings of irritation. One of the hallmarks of Therese's "Little Way" is that she sought to deal with the little, petty incidents of daily life with charity, humility, and cheerfulness, regardless of her feelings and personal preferences. As others have mentioned, this movie is indeed poorly shot and poorly acted but those are minor faults considering the biographical and spiritual substance of this movie depicts what is essentially an Anti-Therese."