2016 Blind Spot Series: The Passion of Joan of Arc
What I knew going in: No much, other than it's frequently raved about.
Jeanne d'Arc (Maria Falconetti) is on trial for heresy since she says she has visions of God during the 100 Year War. I'm sure you know the story of how she becomes a martyr and is burned at the stake. This film focuses on her trial.
The DVD gave me two options of watching this. The Silent version and the Voices of Light opera version. I decided to go out of my comfort zone and stick with the silent version, which I started to regret about half way through the film.
Sometimes, movies just aren't for you, and The Passion of Joan of Arc is one of those for me. I don't completely oppose silent movies, but I don't think drama works well with that gimmick. Slap stick comedy, sure, but a film like this started to feel unintentionally campy at times. Falconetti is 95% brilliant in this movie. The pain on her face is so powerful, but there's that 5% where her eyes go a bit too wide and she looks like she's seen Frankenstein's Monster. It takes away from the beauty of her performance. All of the men, the judges and the priests are terrible. They're over the top (and those awful hair cuts don't help) and it was really hard for me to take them seriously.
I think elements of this movie work wonderfully, but over all I just couldn't get into it, no matter how much I wanted to like it.
Memorable Quote: "When the mission that God has entrusted to me is over, I will again dress as a woman." - Jeanne d'Arc (Maria Falconetti)