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ShowtimesDecember 10:4:45 pm, 7:20 pmDecember 11:4:45 pm, 7:20 pmDecember 13:4:45 pm, 7:20 pm
Official selection: Cannes Film Festival, NYFF. Sex, power, plague and the Church collide in genre auteur Paul Verhoeven’s (Robocop, Basic Instinct, Elle) barnburner of a historical drama, based on real events. In 17th-century Tuscany, a sheltered nobleman’s daughter who experiences overpowering visions takes vows to become a nun. Devout and obedient, Benedetta (Virginie Efira) only occasionally brushes up against her abbess’s (Charlotte Rampling) warning that “intelligence can be dangerous.” But when a coarse and carnal novice enters the convent, Benedetta finds herself obsessed, and their relationship quickly grows physical—threatening to destroy everything around them. Because this is a Verhoeven film, the result is anything but a reverent treatment of an odd footnote in Catholic European history. This delirious, erotic, and violent melodrama is told with a boundless spirit for scandal.