Eye For Film >> Movies >> Marie's Story (2014) Film Review
Reviewed by: Richard Mowe
With shades of François Truffaut’s The Wild Child (L’Enfant Sauvage), which focused on a deaf and dumb boy found abandoned in the woods, Jean-Pierre Améris' new film also takes as its basis a true story about a child reclaimed.
Marie Heurtin (an amazing first performance by Ariana Rivoire) is a deaf and dumb child born in rural France at the end of the 19th century to parents who lived and work on a remote farm.
The child, who cannot be tamed, seeks refuge from her afflictions in wild and unruly behaviour, which in the end defeats both her mother and father.
They decide to deliver her to a nearby convent where one nun in particular, Sister Marguerite (played with deep reserves of conviction by the luminous Isabelle Carré), senses she has met a soul in anguish. She takes on the challenge of rehabilitating her through the use of sign language, sheer determination and loving attention, just like Dr Itard in the Truffaut film.
Her selfless actions, despite her failing health, eventually draw the respect of her colleagues, including a rather stern Mother Superior.
Améris observes the transformation meticulously with each painful step along the way regarded as a giant step for compassion and humane feeling. The sense of period and the deprivations of the time are authentically evoked without ramping up the emotional charge.
If there is such a thing as divine intervention then Sister Marguerite’s mission emerges as glowing example.Reviewed on: 11 Aug 2014