Saint Maud Review
What’s It About?
A zealot takes a job as a live-in carer for an ex-dancer with terminal cancer, and feels the need to convert her.
Who’s In It?
Morfydd Clark (Love & Friendship, His Dark Materials, Dracula, & more recently The Personal History Of David Copperfield)
Jennifer Ehle (Pride And Prejudice, The King’s Speech, Zero Dark Thirty, & more recently Fifty Shades Freed.
Director: Rose Glass (debut)
After impressing in dual roles in The Personal History Of David Copperfield, the TV series Dracula, and a more sinister turn in His Dark Materials, the supremely talented Morfydd Clark is given her first lead role.
Playing a timid and somewhat lonely young nurse in Maud, she takes up a position as a palliative care nurse in the home of an ex-dancer, played by Jennifer Ehle. The dancer, Amanda, has clearly had her fair share of hedonistic days, but as the final curtain is set to come down, she too seems to cut a lonely, lost soul, and Maud believes that they have a connection.
With God speaking directly to her, this recent convert believes that she can guide Amanda towards Him too. Unfortunately Amanda takes great delight in toying with her, and the two are on course for a major collision, particularly when Amanda’s girlfriend Carol arrives on the scene.
Mixing psychological horror with physical, Saint Maud is a slow potboiler that ramps up the tension extremely effectively. Jennifer Ehle excels as the hedonistic terminal patient with the acerbic tongue, but this is without doubt Morfydd Clark’s film. She somehow manages to convey both horror and sympathy in this unsettling character, and leaves Maud in your thoughts long after the film has ended.
In A Nutshell:
A deeply unsettling film about a woman on the edge, who displays both terrifying religious fervour and a desperately troubled soul.
Highlight: A new kind of footwear
The film could and perhaps should have been slightly more drawn out with a bit more development of the central relationship.