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Starring French household name Vincent Lindon (The Measure of a Man), Xavier Giannoli’s The Apparition tells the story of a reporter investigating a young French woman who claims to have seen the Virgin Mary. Combining a mystery plot involving the Catholic Church with the continent-hopping of a traumatised war journalist seeking the truth, it’s an intriguing and suspenseful drama and one of the strongest selling films out of France in 2018
After returning to France from a warzone, Jacques (Lindon) is contacted by a French cardinal at the Vatican, who invites him to Rome for a special mission. A young, very devout girl names Anna (Galetea Bellugi) reports seeing an apparition of the Virgin Mary outside her village in southern France, making the place a pilgrimage site for worshippers, and Jacques is tasked with investigating it. Initially cynical, he nevertheless finds himself deeply affected by Anna and her seemingly incorruptible faith.
Lindon gives a typically complex portrayal in his role as the emotionally scarred Jacques, who obsesses over the mysterious investigation as a way to forget his own turmoil; while Giannoli’s intimate yet expressive storytelling keeps the viewer on their toes until the very end.