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"The Kingdom Of God Is Within You And All Around You..."

  • May 28, 2009
  • by
"The kingdom of God is within you and all around you. It is not within buildings of wood or stone. Split a piece of wood and you will find me. Look beneath a stone and I am there..."

When released in 1999, there was a brief outcry from the Catholic church since this movie challenges basic tenets of Catholic faith & presents "The Church", it's internal workings & hierarchial church government in quite an unflattering light, to be sure.

The premise of the story is about an agnostic woman receiving stigmata & even more interesting, an intertwining story about a church cover up dealing with the Gospel Of John and the political maneuvering that works within all organizations, be it church or state.

Patricia Arquette as Gen X, "rave" generation hairstylist, Frankie, the tortured woman who receives ALL of the manifestations of the stigmata. That being two wrists, as opposed to the palms of the hands , two feet, crown of thorns, and the "coup de grace" being the spear through the side. Frankie also exhibits possession and lots of other "Exorcist"-like manifestations.

Gabriel Byrne plays Father Keirnan, a young Jesuit priest-cum-white collared detective as he spans the globe investigating possible sainthood of the devout, weeping Mary statues, stigmata, demon possession and the like, all in the name of the church and at his boss, Cardinal Daniel Houseman's (Jonathan Pryce) direction and discretion.

Fans of TV's Ally McBeal will recognize "Nell"-Portia DeRossi (Mrs. Ellen DeGeneres) in a supporting role as Frankie's fellow employee, Jennifer Kelliho, and Nia Long also has a part as Frankie's friend, Donna Chadway.

The soundtrack to Stigmata is most interesting. Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan and Mike Garson score the movie's music to create a perpetual sense of darkness, evilness, and general unease.

Remy Zero's "Gramarye", Chumbawamba's "Mary Mary", David Bowie charges up for "The Pretty Things Are Going to Hell," a mechanical/NIN sounding song, Afro Celt System with "Release." Natalie Imbruglia and "Identify", "Inertia Creeps" by Massive Attack and the beautiful, "All Is Full Of Love", by the incomparable Bjork.

As a neat Catholic twist, during the final scene in the garden, the statue in the background is of St. Francis of Assisi- in the Catholic belief system, the first person to bear the marks of the stigmata...

I highly recommend this movie and it's kickin' companion soundtrack ASIN: #B00000JYQI.

Happy Watching and Listening!

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May 28, 2009
I too really liked this film and not just because it opened with my favorite Chumbawamba song "Mary, Mary". How did you feel about the film's somewhat controversial theological message about the need for people to distance themselves from the church and instead move towards Gnosticism?
May 28, 2009
I think the theological message probably had more of a negative impact on practicing Catholics than on someone like me. I am a practicing Christian but do not attend services and haven't regularly for over 15 years so I've definitely distanced myself from the church. I, however, am not a Gnostic. I describe myself as a Christian and spiritual but not "religious". To tell you the truth, my dear Count, the media that really "scares me" and that I think are the most controversial about religion are true life movies and documentaries like "The Magdalene Sisters", "Jamestown - Jim Jones", "Friends Of Jesus", "The Trials Of Ted Haggard", "With Jesus On Our Side", "Jesus Camp", "Deliver Us From Evil", "Fall From Grace", "Soldiers In The Army Of God", and "Our Fathers". Things that self professed "good, Christian people" do to each other... Truth is MUCH more stranger and scarier than fiction... Thanks for all of your comments on my reviews. You have motivated me to write and review more!
May 30, 2009
Well, that's good because we love your reviews. :)
More Stigmata reviews
review by . September 29, 2007
Pros: Love the use of certain aspects     Cons: Tried to do something it shouldn't have.     The Bottom Line: Message was good, delivery...not in perfect form the way I think it could have been.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot. The other night I was bored. Haha, man that happens to me a lot doesn’t it? Anyway, I was flipping channels and landed on Stigmata. Joy! I like this movie, it’s …
review by . May 30, 2000
Pros: None     Cons: Patricia Arquette, silly overly dramatic plot     How would I characterize this movie? Lame, stupid and pointless perhaps? Maybe that's too cruel as the movie really tried to get it together. Too bad that the plot and the silly dialogues sunk this turkey.      Basically this was the Exorcist done over again, and frankly why would anyone even attempt it...been there done that, you know? The movie really took over no …
About the reviewer
Sheila Chilcote-Collins ()
Ranked #156
I enjoy writing my own reviews, listmanias, 'So You'd Like To's' on Amazon and love reading other people's thoughts. I own in excess of 1000 movies, 800+ albums, & 500+ books. … more
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About this movie



Genre: Horror, Action, Adventure
Release Date: September 10, 1999
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 1hr 42min
First to Review

"Pointless Drivel"
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