Stigmata | Chicago Reader


Hairdresser Patricia Arquette becomes the conduit for a religious revelation after her mother, dismissing the notion of sacrilege, buys her a sacred object as a fashion accessory. Cardinal Jonathan Pryce sends priest and scientist Gabriel Byrne to Pittsburgh to examine Arquette, whose body has erupted in preternatural wounds, but recalls him to the Vatican when the investigation threatens to bring to light controversial data about the historical Jesus. Some reviewers have taken this fiction strictly literally, accusing it of being badly researched or irreverent. But this serious if assaultively stylish meditation on faith uses traditional elements of religion-based horror in a way that's more innocent than calculating; the naive, initially atheist character sympathetically played by Arquette and Byrne's truth-seeking believer who may be uncertain about his vow of chastity represent legitimate relationships to spirituality. Rupert Wainwright directed a screenplay by Tom Lazarus and Rick Ramage; with music by Billy Corgan and Elia Cmiral.

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