Paul Verhoeven has spent his career satirizing American action films in Robocop and Total Recall, satirizing military propaganda in Starship Troopers, satirizing nothing at all in Black Book, a film about Jewish spies in World War II, and back to satire with his riff on Europudding movies in 2016’s Elle. Now his latest, the nunsploitation Cannes hit Benedetta, is on its way to theaters. Lest you think the movie is a wanton sex romp concocted to savage without mercy the Catholic Church for centuries of hypocrisy, it’s based on the life of one Benedetta Carlini (played here by Virginie Efira), who in counter-reformation Italy joined a convent, had an affair with fellow nun Bartolomea (Daphne Patakia), and cultivated her own following, much to the Church’s chagrin. Her story ends poorly.
The film co-stars Charlotte Rampling, now on screens in Dune, and arrives in theaters December 3rd before becoming available on VOD December 21st. Religious types everywhere may be “nun” too pleased by the timing.