(Review originally written at 22 August 2009)

Well, nuns in a far off cold place are not really my idea of an intriguing idea to base an entire movie around. It nevertheless is still a great movie to watch, which is of course mostly due to its visual style.

The movie is almost entirely set in the Himalayas, while almost the entire movie got shot at a studio, in full color. Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger were two very creative directors who often used to experiment with grand and usual sets, as well as new movie techniques. This results in a great visual style for this movie, in which it very rarely shows that this movie got not shot at location. The art direction and cinematography were also the two things which earned this movie an Oscar. It was the first and only Oscar for cinematographer Jack Cardiff, who often is being regarded by many as the best cinematographer of all time.

The story itself, while not being very intriguing, is also told great. It brings up some great- and perhaps also slightly controversial and daring themes the nuns are struggling with, such as their own faith and in the vows they have taken. The movie features some solid characters, played by some great actors, making the story work out all well.

Deborah Kerr plays a great female lead and Jean Simmons also makes a grand and early movie appearance. She was only 17/18 at the time. Unfortantly some of the actors suddenly disappear out of the movie and sort of make a redundant impression. Things that make it obvious that the movie got based on a novel. Not everything in books always just translated to well to the silver-screen.

In the end its still a quite rewarding movie to watch, that handles most of its themes well and above all has a great look over it.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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