Paul Verhoeven’s Lesbian Nun Drama ‘Benedetta’ Wows Critics: ‘Erotic,’ ‘Phenomenal’

·3-min read

Paul Verhoeven’s lesbian nun drama “Benedetta” just premiered at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, and early viewers took to social media to praise the film and the filmmaker’s direction.

“Absolute Verhoeven,” World of Reel’s Jordan Ruimy said. “Erotic, violent, religiously sinful and absurdist. You have never seen a movie quite like this one. It’s a feminist take on Christ. If Virginie Efira doesn’t win Best Actress then there is no God.”

Fandango’s Brian Formo added: “Is ‘Benedetta’ one of Paul Verhoeven’s best? No. But is it one of his most subversive? Absolutely. It’s a riot. Let yourself be surprised. It makes sense that it’s released same day in France as #Cannes premiere. ‘Lesbian nuns’ is only the half of it.”

“Benedetta” is an erotic drama directed by Verhoeven about a young nun in 17th century Italy who carries on an affair with another nun, and it’s inspired by a nonfiction book by historian Judith C. Brown. Virginia Efira and Charlotte Rampling star in the film that IFC Films picked up for North American release, while Mubi nabbed the UK and Ireland rights.

In France it opened in theaters the same day as its Cannes premiere on Friday.

See early reactions below.

Is Benedetta one of Paul Verhoeven’s best? No. But is it one of his most subversive? Absolutely. It’s a riot. Let yourself be surprised. It makes sense that it’s released same day in France as #Cannes premiere. “Lesbian nuns” is only the half of it.

— Brian Formo is at #Cannes (@BrianFormo) July 9, 2021 https://twitter.com/bySofiaAndrade/status/1413547587760803846?s=20

We’ve seen a lot of Cannesalingus, BENEDETTA just brought out the nunalingus #Cannes2021

— Sophie Monks Kaufman (@sopharsogood) July 9, 2021

BENEDETTA: Absolute Verhoeven. Erotic, violent, religiously sinful and absurdist. You have never seen a movie quite like this one. It’s a feminist take on Christ. If Virginie Efira doesn’t win Best Actress then there is no God. #Cannes2021

— Jordan Ruimy (@mrRuimy) July 9, 2021

Delighted to report that Paul Verhoeven’s Benedetta is an absolute riot: a good old fashioned art-house costume shagathon with a ferocious satirical streak. #Cannes2021

— Robbie Collin (@robbiereviews) July 9, 2021

Worth! The! Wait! 💥 This was incredible. Benedetta for Palmeeeeeeee!! Verhoeven reigns!! 😂

— Alex Billington @ Cannes 2021 (@firstshowing) July 9, 2021

BENEDETTA – Verhoeven once again displays his mastery of creating seductive tone, mixing the ribald with the religious, from farts to flights of fancy, all with an acerbic eye to faith, hypocrisy, lust and carnage. Beautiful to watch, it's a blessed work by a master #Cannes2021

— Jason Gorber @ #cannes2021 (@filmfest_ca) July 9, 2021

Benedetta – She is the chosen Nun, and oh yes she fucks. Epic religious love story between two rebellious nuns featuring the most badass Jesus to ever grace the big screen. It's ravishing! Thrilling! The score is sweeping! Their passion is intense! Verhoeven delivers. #Cannes2021

— Alex Billington @ Cannes 2021 (@firstshowing) July 9, 2021

Just watched Paul Verhoeven’s lesbian-nun drama BENEDETTA, or “Forgive Me, Father, For I Have Scissored.” I mean… the nuns whittle a Virgin Mary dildo, let’s just say that

— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) July 9, 2021

Verhoeven's Benedetta is basically a Woman's Prison Movie, even if it defies some convent-ions. A rousing spectacle that would have been a perfect opening film. Virginie Efira confirms her greatness and manages to take her part seriously in some way.

— Christer Emanuelsson @ Cannes Film Festival. (@ChristerEm) July 9, 2021


Editor’s note: The author of this story is not related to the director Paul Verhoeven.

Check out TheWrap’s digital Cannes magazine issue here. You can find all of TheWrap’s Cannes coverage here.

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Read original story Paul Verhoeven’s Lesbian Nun Drama ‘Benedetta’ Wows Critics: ‘Erotic,’ ‘Phenomenal’ At TheWrap

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