33% of the film
When a naive novice nun is discovered with a dead newborn in her conventquarters, a court appointed psychiatrist investigates her case.
You can read my short review of the film just by clicking HERE.
A mess of a film, with overall uninspired writing, terrible dialogue and ridiculous screenplay solutions. Most of the performances are all over the place, and it sure lacks some strong directorial guidance.
Anne Bancroft as Mother Miriam Ruth
I’m gonna change a bit the regular structure of my Best Actress profiles, as I’ll give the rating right now, in the first paragraph. To justify it, I’ll keep it short. From the 90-something Best Actress performances I got to write about so far, THIS is the worst. Elizabeth Taylor, at least, had some insanity spark going on and nailed the bitchiness in Raintree County. Vanessa Redgrave had nothing to do in Morgan!, but at least she was charming enough to barely make it watchable and almost funny. These ladies had SO few to work with. I have nothing against Anne Bancroft’s acting in general, but when you get a juicy dramatic role and fill it with the most uninspired, awful acting choices, without any understanding of the character or sense of direction… then I have to call you out for this. It’s the first time I’m using this rating, as it’s undoubtedly the WORST performance I’ve written about since starting the series. So, Anne, it’s a .
the most interesting character in the film, as she is, in some measure, the puppet-master. The unfortunate result: the most boring, confusing performance.
Both times I saw it I tried to figure out what was wrong with the performance, why isn’t it glued at all, what is Anne trying to tell us… My conclusion is that she isn’t telling us anything, she’s just terribly confused, changing the character’s attitude from one scene to another, sometimes from one line to another, without making it cohesive or even define it as a characteristic of Mother Miriam.
creative actress might’ve done with it. It’s a role that allows the actress to play around, and it could work so easily IF you make up your mind on how to act it. Bancroft goes for nun-next-door, creating a character that’s neither smart, nor funny, even though the dialogue wants us to believe that. She goes for a type of character that cracks jokes, tries to be funny, keeps a surprised dumb look on her face and ultimately creates the dullest character in the film.
There’s one scene where she rushes into the psychiatrist’s office, with some energy and fury, and it’s maybe the one decent acting moment because she manages the shouting, but all this with the help of the editing and very often cuts to Jane Fonda. Beyond that there’s nothing but confusion, lazy acting, uninspired line readings, failure to express real emotion or to explore the potential of the character.