Directed By: Rupert Wainwright
Written By: Tom Lazarus, Rick Ramage
Produced By: Frank Mancuso Jr.
Cast: Patricia Arquette, Gabriel Byrne, Jonathan Pryce, Nia Long, Portia de Rossi
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 102 minutes
Review Date: September 10, 2010
Stigmata details Frankie Paige (Patricia Arquette) and her development of stigmata. Stigmata has a clear definition, although Stigmata missed this page. Even Wikipedia got it right!
In Stigmata, Frankie (the stigmatic) receives the wounds after coming in contact with a dead priest’s rosary. And apparently her wounds make her Exorcist-like, as she talks in various voices and becomes quite possessed and satanic. To recap, stigmata doesn’t occur because you come in possession of an item; it comes from within you. It also doesn’t make you the spawn of Satan.
Oh, and the wounds don’t just come and go as they please while changing shape. But apparently, Frankie Paige is a different story.
Regardless, this Stigmata documents Frankie’s struggles with her new lacerations. Some of her scenes are a bit harder to watch, like the lashing scene on the subway train. I’m really going to watch who I sit next to on the train and see if they bleed from the wrists.
To help guide Frankie through her stigmata revelations (that’s what we’re calling them, since they seem to become apparent at random times during the day), is Father Andrew Kiernan (Gabriel Byrne). He’s like the Vatican’s Mr. Weasley (from Harry Potter), he investigates things out of the ordinary in the ordinary world. But with Frankie, he acts like he’s performing an exorcism at times which is utterly confusing.
Whenever Frankie has a new stigmata wound appear, her best friend Donna Chadway (Nia Long) always makes sure to take her out clubbing. Because after bleeding from the crown of your head for no apparent reason, the only true solution and answer is a dance floor and strobe lights. This makes the stigmata situation seem a little childish, immature, and really, nothing to be concerned with.
The story of Stigmata is so far-fetched. Even if you aren’t a devout Catholic, you’ll still pick up on misrepresentations of some of the religion’s basic fundamentals. These falsehoods make the film hard to watch as you continually become enraged with the misconceptions. But maybe that’s just me being a good Catholic (and one who paid attention in class).
Clearly Arquette took this role with the premonition she would soon find herself (wo)manning a television show about supernatural powers, Medium.
Hanna Soltys is a green tea drinker and film critic living in Chicago.