I FINALLY got to watch Saint Maud. I’ve been waiting for this movie since last year but the release date kept getting pushed back because of COVID. So here we are February, 2021, the film has now been released on DVD/Blu-Ray, and is currently available on Video on Demand and Epix.
This is writer/director Rose Glass’s first feature length film, she’s more known for shorts. Impressive first film.
The film follows a timid hospice nurse, named Katie (Morfydd Clark- you may recognize her from Pride & Predjudice Zombies). Katie experiences a trauma from a past patient who she was unable to save with CPR. She becomes a born again Roman Catholic, (an extreme one) to cope. She takes on a new name, Maud, and is assigned to a new patient.
The patient is Amanda, played by (Jennifer Ehle). She is confined to a wheelchair suffering with stage four Lymphoma. Initially, the two hit it off, Maud is patient, gentle and kind. She shares some intimate details about her faith in which Amanda willingly listens and they share a moment. Maud becomes increasingly obsessed with saving the soul of the former dancer and choreographer. At one point Amanda refers to her as her Savior, and Maud takes this to heart. She ultimately destroys her relationship with Amanda through her controlling religious behaviors and judgements about her sexuality, resulting in her termination.
After feeling like she’s been rejected essentially from God, being ousted from her Savior mission; Maud finds herself exploring her old Katie ways. There’s a demeaning and ugly scene in which Maud, lost, turns to her past life of alcohol and men. She experiences more trauma after being sexually assaulted. There’s a heavy tone of trauma, grief and how quickly it can manifest into mental illness.
Maud learns Amanda has a new caregiver who seemingly has a solid and friendly relationship with the woman she was meant to save. This unleashes some serious internal rage in Maud. We can’t tell if she’s actually possessed, or if her trauma and mental illness is just manifesting itself physically. Needless to say, she does some pretty shocking and twisted things. The religious tones in this film reminded me of Alice, Sweet Alice (1976) which shows us the extreme side of Christianity, and the Savior, or God complex.
Maud, robed in her finest sheets complete with her sacred rosary sets out on her final mission. Save Amanda once and for all. God told her to. At one point near the end, we see Maud with big brilliant angel wings as she takes her last walk to the beach. I won’t give away the ending. Spoilers! But it’s a doozy!
Even though I give this movie a good solid 🔪🔪🔪🔪/5, I still felt like something was missing. Was it the fact that we had to wait so long to see this movie? Was it simply hyped up to the point where it would be impossible to meet those expectations? Or was there something missing? Let me know in comments what you thought.
I did enjoy this movie, the acting by both Clark and Ehle was superb. This was a nice throwback to 70s horror. There were a lot of movies based around Christianity and Catholicism in the 70s. It was a slight slow burn in the beginning but it definitely kept me intrigued taking only one pause break for the loo. The violence and gore scenes were done exceptionally well. Not over the top, but gruesome and disturbing all the same.
If you were like me, waiting forever to see this film, tamper your expectations slightly and then you can appreciate the great film it is. I look forward to more feature length films from Rose Glass.
Saint Maud Movie poster – IMDB.com
Alternative poster – https://stulovesfilm.com/2020/10/11/saint-maud/
Maud levitating – https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2021/feb/19/saint-maud/
Maud in her robes – https://www.hitc.com/en-gb/2020/10/09/saint-maud-ending-explained/