Derek Winnert


This article was written on 18 May 2017, and is filled under Reviews.

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The Secret Scripture *** (2016, Vanessa Redgrave, Rooney Mara, Theo James, Jack Reynor, Eric Bana, Adrian Dunbar, Susan Lynch) – Movie Review

The Secret Scripture is a bit manipulative and melodramatic, but still enjoyable. It is very romantic and glossy, with sweet performances from a very classy cast.

Vanessa Redgrave and Rooney Mara star as the older and younger versions of troubled Rose Clear, a woman who keeps a diary of her extended stay at a mental hospital in Ireland.

Writer-director Jim Sheridan’s earnest script for this 2016 Irish tragic period drama is based on the 2008 prize-winning novel by Sebastian Barry. But somehow, this is not a very exciting, prize-winning film, and Sheridan’s handling is surprisingly uncertain and hesitant, with a fumbled ending. But the story keeps shining through and the film is largely redeemed by the performances.

The acting is very strong by the two women, and Theo James is good as Father Gaunt, the priest obsessed with Rose, with Jack Reynor nice as Michael McNulty, plus effective work by Adrian Dunbar as the nasty home boss, Eric Bana as the decent Dr William Greene and Susan Lynch as the kindly nurse.

Shooting on various Irish locations, Sheridan does make the film look good, too, with the beautiful cinematography by Mikhail Krichman.

Johnny Ferguson co-writes the screenplay.

© Derek Winnert 2017 Movie Review

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