(out of 5)
Anna Karina is superb in this adaptation of Diderot’s novel, as a young woman who is forced by her family’s impoverished circumstances to enter the nunnery. Her first Mother Superior shows her so much affection that she grows to love her life in the convent, but after that kind woman’s death Karina is forced to face the fact that she has no vocation and desires a life of freedom. From there occur a series of experiences, some harrowing and some bizarre, in which she fights for a better life that, in 17th century France, she doesn’t realize isn’t available to a woman (particularly one with no marriage prospects). The masterful Jacques Rivette adapts the novel into a long but captivating and steady narrative, punctuated by exceptional performances and a haunting atmosphere.
Directed by Jacques Rivette
Cinematography by Alain Levent
Produced by Georges de Beauregard
Music by Jean-Claude Eloy
Costume Design by Gitt Magrini
Film Editing by Denise de Casabianca