Unknown Caller: a Review of “The Apparition”
French director Xavier Giannoli has been making feature films for a dozen years. L’Apparition is his latest, and it’s likely to follow his other films in garnering a best picture nomination in next year’s César Awards, the equivalent of our Oscars.
The Apparition, which opens this week in a limited American release, is a very Catholic film, although not along the lines of Henry King’s Song of Bernadette (1941) or John Brahm’s The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima (1952). Those films told the stories of the two most famous apparitions of Our Lady – 1858 in France and 1917 in Portugal – and they depicted actual events. Giannoli’s film is wholly fiction, and – as you might expect from any 21st-century movie – it expresses skepticism.
Or does it?
In a village in France, a teenage girl named Anna Ferron (Galatéa Bellugi) claims to have seen the Blessed Virgin, who has spoken to her and also given her a mysterious bloodstained cloth. Such claims must be taken seriously, and they are.