The Act of the Heart (1970) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Act of the Heart (1970)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

A woman is led to the edge of madness as she wrestles between her spiritual life and her romantic longings in this unusual drama. Martha Hayes (Genevieve Bujold) is a young woman who was raised in a small rural community. A deeply committed Christian, Hayes moves to Montreal, where she earns a meager wage working with the choir at an Anglican Church. Hayes has also been asked to look after a child with health problems, and when the child unexpectedly dies, she falls into a deep depression. While in conference with Father Michael Ferrier (Donald Sutherland), a priest who has come to her church as part of a interfaith music festival, Hayes breaks down and confesses her love for him. Ferrier responds by leaving the church to marry her; however, Ferrier is not well suited for life in the secular world, and their marriage soon collapses, leading Hayes to desperate measures. Genevieve Bujold's performance in Act Of The Heart earned her the Best Actress award at the 1970 Canadian Film Awards.


Geneviève Bujold
as Martha Hayes
Donald Sutherland
as Father Michael Ferrier
Monique Leyrac
as Johane Foss
Bill Mitchell
as Russell Foss
Suzanne Langlois
as Housekeeper
Ratch Wallace
as Diedrich
Jean Duceppe
as Parks Commissioner
Gilles Vigneault
as Coach Ti-Jo
Eric House
as Choirmaster
View All

Critic Reviews for The Act of the Heart

All Critics (4) | Top Critics (2)

Actress Bujold is incontestably a beguiling martyr, alternatingly childlike and womanly. But the force of her radiance is blunted by the conventionality of her role.

January 31, 2011 | Full Review…

There is no grand tragic logic in The Act of the Heart. When I left the theater I simply felt that I'd seen a terrible accident.

January 31, 2011 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

While the story is scrappy, leading to a hugely disappointing denouement, the central message is conveyed through some superb acting.

January 31, 2011 | Full Review…

This is a bleak, mundane story which nevertheless stays in the mind, and which ends on a note of high drama.

January 31, 2011 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews

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The Act of the Heart Quotes

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