Jessica Hausner, 2009
Wexner Center members receive free admission to select screenings at the Gateway Film Center, located in the South Campus Gateway. The films are selected (and often introduced) by Wex curators. Don’t forget to bring your Wex member ID card to show at the Gateway’s box office.
"Sylvie Testud, a tiny actress with an often oversize and ferocious screen presence, delivers a minutely detailed performance that telegraphs a world with a thrust of her chin, a widening of her eyes."—Manohla Dargis, New York Times
The slyly humorous, affecting and thoughtful Lourdes tells the story of Christine, a young woman confined to a wheelchair who makes a pilgrimage to the city of Lourdes—along with thousands of others—hoping for a miraculous recovery. She wakes up one morning seemingly cured by a miracle and the leader of the pilgrimage group, a handsome volunteer from the Order of Malta, begins to take an interest in her. She tries to hold on to this newfound chance for happiness while her cure provokes envy and admiration.
The actress Sylvie Testud gives an exceptional performance as Christine. ("Miraculous," is a common adjective from the film's reviewers.) Testud, like Isabelle Huppert before her, has emerged as perhaps the greatest French film actress of her generation. Her name isn't widely known in the US (her highest profile role here has been as Edith Piaf's best friend in La vie en rose), so Lourdes provides a wonderful introduction to both this remarkable actress and the film's exceptionally promising director, Austrian Jessica Hausner. (96 mins., 35mm)