With the sad news about Cineworld closing recently I headed to the cinema to see the latest Unlimited Screening before the closure, this was an early screening of Saint Maud, directed by Rose Glass and starring Jennifer Ehle and Morfydd Clark.
Live-in nurse Maud (Morfydd Clark) arrives at the home of Amanda (Jennifer Ehle), a famous dancer now frail from illness and trapped in her grand, isolated house. At first, Amanda is intrigued by this religious young woman, who provides a distraction from her failing health. Maud, in turn, is bewitched by her new patient. But Maud is not all that she seems. She is tormented by a violent secret from her past and by ecstatic messages she believes are directly from God. She becomes convinced she has been sent to Amanda not simply as a nurse, but to serve a divine purpose. As her grip on reality slides out of control, Maud’s care turns into a deadly mission to save Amanda’s soul, by any means necessary.
OK where to start with Saint Maud, I went in to see the film slightly not knowing much about the film, besides the synopsis for the film and that it had had some great feedback when it was shown at the Glasgow Film Festival, so I was half expecting horror and half expecting something strange and psychological thriller, in fact, I got them all.
I have to say that Morfydd Clark puts on an amazing performance as Maud, the film opens with a rather unnerving scene of her crouching in the corner of what seems like an operating theatre with her head in her blood-drenched hands, that’s enough to set you on the path of an uneasy road for the film.
Shortly after Maud (Clark) starts a new job looking after Amanda (Ehle), who I have to say plays the part brilliantly, but Maud isn’t just there to look after Amanda, she is there to save her soul and she believes that God is helping her and telling her how she can save Amanda.
As Saint Maud progresses Maud falls deeper and deeper into her own beliefs that she is on the path of the righteous ones to become a Saint, so much so that she travels many roads to find her way from becoming a good Samaritan to performing sexual practices!
She even inflicts pain on herself to show God that she is destined to be the saint she believes she can be, look for a rather flinching moment when she creates a cushion of drawing pins to place in her shoes to walk in pain through the streets!
Saint Maud is a brilliant British made movie, I wasn’t too sure about it when it first started and thought it may drag along, but as Maud journey progresses I found myself gripped to the story and powerful portrayal that Clark brings to the screen of the character, this is a refreshing change from the lavish blockbusters we are all used to seeing these days and the subtle special effects really add to the storytelling.
I found myself many times feeling shocked in scenes, more so at the end of the movie, but I’m not going into that as it will totally spoil the story, but it really had me thinking that there are people in the world that are like the character of Maud and are in dire need of some help.
The cinematography from Ben Fordesman for Saint Maud is nicely done with the dark room locations of Amanda’s house looking good and the nightlife scenes of the arcades when Maud is walking past them.
Writer and director Rose Glass has brought us a brilliant, thought-provoking, film that has you thinking during and after seeing the film.
I must also mention the soundtrack for Saint Maud from Adam Janota Bzowski, the powerful bass sounds that emanate from the speakers in certain pieces of music thunder through your chest and give you the feeling that not everything is right with Maud’s world.
Saint Maud is a great psychological thriller and if you get chance to see it on the big screen before the cinemas close then go for it.
Morfydd Clark is superb as Maud
Movie title: Saint Maud
Movie description: Follows a pious nurse who becomes dangerously obsessed with saving the soul of her dying patient.
Date published: 2020-10-09
Duration: 1h 24min
Director(s): Rose Glass
Actor(s): Morfydd Clark, Jennifer Ehle, Lily Knight
Genre: Drama , Horror, Mystery
Karen Woodham is the founder and owner of the Blazing Minds. She is also a Cinema reviewer, based at the Scala in Prestatyn and also works with RealD 3D reviewing the latest 3D releases, she has also had several articles published in various publications including the first edition of SFW Magazine. In 2015 she became an Award Winning Blogger and also has her website listed as one of the UK’s Top 10 Film Blogs.