TIFF review: Saint Maud

Ross Glass's horror film about devotion and belief features a tremendous performance from Morfydd Clark

SAINT MAUD MM D: Rose Glass. UK. 83 min. Sep 15, 1:30 pm, Scotiabank 4. Rating: NNNN

Glass’s first feature reformulates a certain kind of horror movie into an intense character study about devotion and belief, carried by a tremendous performance from Morfydd Clark as Maud, a young English palliative-care nurse convinced that her latest patient, dying American choreographer Amanda Köhl (Jennifer Ehle), is a lost soul in need of salvation.

Which isn’t to say Ehle’s work is lacking it’s just that the movie starts out as a two-hander but soon becomes a riveting solo show, with writer/director Glass pushing us further and further into Maud’s head as pressures build from without and within. Impressionistic and brutal in its depiction of whatever its protagonist is going through, Saint Maud creates a sort of ecstatic tension and holds it to the bitter end

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