Content Note: saneism
Maud (Morfydd Clark) is a nurse who works with dying patients at their homes. She just got a new case – actor Amanda (Jennifer Ehle). Maud goes about her work quietly and diligently, but when Amanda takes an interest in Maud’s religious beliefs, pious Maud sees it as a sign that she is supposed to save Amanda’s soul. With Amanda’s death quickly approaching, there is an urgency to that mission that Maud can’t escape.
Saint Maud is an atmospheric film with great performances. Your mileage will probably vary on the religious themes, but I thought that the film handles them very well.
I am always delightes when Jennifer Ehle appears on the screen in front of me. And she is again an absolute highlight here. She really nails Amanda’s desperation and vulnerability, but also her cruelty and strength. The film is worth watching for her alone – and she really isn’t all that much in it. Because the film mostly focuses on Maud, and Morfydd Clark is equally fantastic. She is meek and subservient and sweet – until she isn’t in the slightest.
As both the writer and the director, Glass has a good handle on her characters and especially Maud’s mental state. The portrayal of Maud’s vision as well as her decreasing health are well captured and feel utterly realistic. Unfortunately, though, it is yet another instance where a – probably – mentally ill person becomes a danger to the people around her.
The film is certainly tense and had me paying attention the entire time. And there is one really good jump scare there that almost had me out of my seat. The ending is pretty hash and carries a punch that I felt for a while afterwards.
Still, despite all those good things, the film didn’t have me all that enthusiastic as my review so far may give the impression. It was good, I enjoyed it, but I didn’t love it – and I’m not really sure why. But it’s definitely worth watching.
Summarizing: see it – maybe you’ll love it more than I did.