Rated: R, Time: 1hr 30min, Director: Jeff Baena, Cast on IMDb
Why did you go see this movie?
Well I was thinking last week of going to Valerian, but that movie is so pompous in the advertising, so it was a turn-off and after all the bad news breaking out a comedy really hits the spot. Additionally, I think it is great material for a fun film with nuns gone wild in the middle ages. There was definitely some fun overlays in the plot.
What do you think of the rating?
It shows the puritan nature of the US society for one. I mean there is absolutely no deaths, yet it gets an R rating for showing sex and not even kinky sex per say. Maybe its that nuns are having sex, you got to be over 13 for that right? I would say in Europe there would have been even more nudity, but to make the R they had to keep it subtle. So funny when you think that Terminator there are 33 violent deaths on a fairy scary topic of AI gone wild killing humans, yet a simple R. Nuns take off the robes, definitely R. LOL.
How well does the plot work?
Well it all circles around this mischievous young lad Massetto, played by Dave Franco, who runs away from being one of the local lord's castles after being caught laying with the Lord Bruno's wife. He ends up hiding out at a local nunery run by Father Tommaso and Sister Marea. The sisters who torture the local gardner end up falling for the handsome young Massetto and the fun ensues.
Do you think the movie was influenced by today's politics?
I think that films are made sometimes at the right time and other times at the wrong times. I think for example Hand Maidens is perfectly suited to the Trump presidency, where women are seen as subservient. This movie has that similar undertone with women seen as a separate cast, where they are forced to learn and sew as a nun or produce children. You get the same feeling with the Trump wives: just used for procreation and then tossed aside as they age for the next bride. The role of Lord Bruno captures this very well with a younger wife that he cannot keep satisfied and strays from him. Of course, everyone guilty of the crime will be severely punished.
Did you know any of the characters?
Funny enough I know one of the Franco brothers that runs a gallery in Berkeley. He has that same goofy smile as James Franco does. Probably quite similar in character, but since I don't know the other brothers personally, who knows. Tom Franco runs the Firehouse North Gallery and the Firehouse Gillman Art Studios, where I used to paint. Several of the artists of 4th Street Fine Art painted there while we were locating a new space in Berkeley. One of my favorite painters I met there was Kori, who was a true free spirit in her attitude to painting. I also met Maggie Hurley, an accomplished realist painter of small animals and birds. Tom Franco is fairly good at managing by managing with minimal input. The one input he did have was to get rid of this crazy artist Elaine that would throw paint around and ruined an art party food spread with her flying paint. She was a really squirrely case, some artists are.
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