The Secret Scripture (2017)
Critic Consensus: The Secret Scripture has acclaimed source material and a well-chosen cast in its corner, but despite its stars' valiant efforts, this adaptation was better left on the page.
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Critic Reviews for The Secret Scripture
The Secret Scripture is a highly streamlined adaptation of Sebastian Barry's 2008 Man Booker finalist.
Its lack of nuance and persistent plotting issues frequently undermine much of the potential emotional heft.
Sebastian Barry's Costa prizewinning novel is gutted and reconstituted to the point of absurdity in this cockeyed adaptation.
It's the construction, not the performances, which undermines The Secret Scripture.
Audience Reviews for The Secret Scripture
A depiction of the cruelty dealt to a young woman by the religious hierarchy in 20th century Ireland, this screenplay contained too much romanticism to be a thorough indictment of such practices, but the mighty performance of Vanessa Redgrave pushes the excuses to the sidelines. The message is sympathy for the woman Rose, though the film wanted to reconcile the two. Redgrave is fearless, every moment is considered, overflowing with significance. She challenges the reality - including the film's generosity to the church. Only an actor of Redgrave's power could do it. The film is a lesson in the differences between the acting of Redgrave, and the requirements of modern stardom, where the lead actor may often have to be less the true focus than a neutral point around whom the production revolves. This is a deeply touching story, but not as savagely true as say The Magdalen Sisters. Some in the audience may have to keep deciding whose side they are on: it is a power struggle between Redgrave's lead and the production, which she wins - just. An opportunity to watch Redgrave at her brave and fiery best, driving home against the odds the point that what happened to Rose was not, and never would be, all right.
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