The Apparition (2018)
L’apparition (original title)
2h 24min | Drama | French and Italian w/ English subtitles
THE APPARITION opens Friday, September 28 @ Angelika Dallas
Synopsis: Jacques is a journalist at a large regional newspaper in France. His reputation as an impartial investigator attracts the attention of the Vatican, who recruit him to lead a committee to explore the legitimacy of a saintly apparition in a small French village—a true canonical investigation. Upon his arrival, he meets the young novitiate Anna, who claims to have personally witnessed an apparition of the Virgin Mary. She’s garnered an impressive following in the village but is torn between her faith and the many solicitations she receives. Confronted with opposing views from clergy members and skeptics, Jacques finds his belief system profoundly shaken as he works to uncover the hidden motivations and pressures at work.
Review: The drama The Apparition is part journalism thriller and part spiritual mystery. Both pieces are intriguing and the characters well thought out but there are some issues with the script that go deeper than just “lost in translation”. Without sounding too boastful I think how I had it figured out in my head was far better than what played out on screen.
Both main characters were vital to the success of the film. On one side you have Anna (Galatéa Bellugi) a young woman claiming to have seen The Virgin Mary. People now travel from all over the world to see Anna, touch her, or be blessed by Mary. Her story and popularity have grown to the point that the Catholic church is sending a committee to investigate. Jacques (Vincent Lindon) is a popular journalist with no religious affiliation who wants the facts regardless of what it means to the church. The more he finds out about Anna and her the past the more he realizes that there is certainly more to the story.
The Apparition is what I enjoy about foreign language films and French films in particular. There is a timeless grain to them that doesn’t try and distract with glitter and flash. Not that this isn’t well crafted or technically sound. But it allows the story to be front and center. The characters are real and grounded which too helps engage the viewer.
The only issue I had was how the mystery solved itself. This too may be that I expect that big Hollywood twist instead of a plausible finale. That aside it is certainly worth a viewing.