Carrying the Cross
Review by Ross Anthony

Stigmata isn't just a cool/scary sounding word, nor is it Mitsubishi's newest sportscar. It's what people are called who bare the wounds of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Usually these people are devout in faith, but not Frankie Paige; she's a free spirit, happy-go-lucky, partying hairdresser.

Think you've had a bad day? Frankie gets nailed to the wall at the drop of a hat (or holy water in this case). It's enough to make you cry tears of blood.

But "Stigmata" the movie isn't all special effects of torture. Though the writers may hammer it through your bones a little harder than necessary, the theme is relevant and strong.

Good point aside, the picture suffered from a slow start, mediocre soundtrack, expository dialogue in a Vatican scene, some sticky editing choices and near miss intensities. And then there's the implausibilities. Example 1: Frankie is attacked by an unseen force in a public dance hall (okay, I'm believing that). Bleeding from the head and delusional she flees from the club, her best friend first gets her rain coat on before running after (I can't believe that). Example 2: Admitted to the hospital for puncture wounds clear through both wrists, she's assumed to be a suicide victim (How would one drive a nail through that second wrist?).

Still, the picture had it's moments, I had my share of chills and as I said ... good point.

Stigmata, Copyright © 1999. 102 minutes. Rated R.
Starring Patricia Arquette, Gabriel Byrne, Jonathan Pryce.
Directed by Rupert Wainwright.
Written by Tom Lazarus and Rick Ramage.
Produced by Frank Mancuso, JR at MGM and FGM Entertainment.


Copyright © 1999 Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:54:27 PDT