Austrian director Jessica Hausner’s small “Lourdes” finds Sylvie Testud, a treasure of contemporary French cinema, as a woman with multiple sclerosis in a wheelchair who travels to the Pyrenees to the city of miracles. Testud, a waif of steel, has made her bold mark in movies like “La France” (Serge Bozon’s lovely, bizarre musical). Simple humanity and matters of the soul is what Hausner is after, with lovingly etched characterizations in even the smallest roles, and Testud conveys grace in even her most reserved expressions. Miracles may happen, but not everyone will be pleased: “Lourdes” is a sly, gentle parable. Mysteries linger. French-language with subtitles. With Gilette Barbier, Gerhard Liebmann, Léa Seydoux, Bruno Todeschini, Irma Wagner, Elina Löwensohn. 96m. (Ray Pride)
“Lourdes” opens Friday at the Music Box.
Author: Ray Pride
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic, editor of Movie City News and a contributing editor of Filmmaker magazine. He is also a photographer: his history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images is forthcoming. Check a few signs on Twitter (@chighostsigns) as well as daily photography on Instagram (instagram.com/raypride). Twitter: @RayPride. (Photo: Jorge Colombo.)