It's hard to put your finger on why Lourdes is so enticing. After all, it's a film about a tourist attraction for traditional, old-school Catholics who want to spend their days praying to the Holy Mother in the hopes of a miracle.
It's possible that it was the opening long shot that introduces us to the haunting and controlled setting of this particular pilgrimage group, which mesmerizes you from the very start.
It could also be Jessica Hausner's grand achievement of carrying a deliberate tone of suspension on screen and throughout the script, as though the audience is holding one long breath.
The leading lady Christine (Sylvie Testud) a frail young woman bound to a wheelchair from multiple sclerosis, adds to this eerie sense of hope and mysticism that religion tends to evoke. Her calm and melancholy demeanor is almost suspicious, especially when placed next to the carefree, playful, and sometimes self-absorbed nurse Maria, played by the innocently sultry Lea Seydoux.
With hidden meanings and mysterious scenes abound, the audience will find themselves gradually searching for more and more insight from the film's perplexing characters and obscure details.
"One of the most observant -- and enigmatic -- movies of the year." - San Francisco Chronicles
"Adventurous filmgoers will be rewarded by its unusually open-ended storyline." - Hollywood Reporter
"A provocative and surprising pleasure that may persuade even the most hardened rationalists to reconsider what religion means as a sanctity to those who have few other choices in life." - Time Out