HIFF Now Showing Series Screens ‘Novitiate’ at Guild Hall

A scene from "Novitiate"
A scene from "Novitiate," Photo: Courtesy HIFF

Curated by the Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF) and presented at Guild Hall in East Hampton, the Now Showing series of movie screenings continues with Novitiate this Saturday, February 10 at 6 p.m.

The Now Showing series features first run, acclaimed art house, independent and world cinema currently in theaters, but not showing on the East End, on select Saturday nights at Guild Hall’s John Drew Theater.

Writer/director Maggie Betts’ 2017 feature debut, Novitiate tells a contemplative, affecting and complicated coming-of-age story about Cathleen (Margaret Qualley), a 17-year-old girl who falls “in love” with God. Set in the 1960s as the Catholic Church is roiled by the reforms of Vatican II, the film features breakout performances by a cast of standout young female actors, along with screen veterans, including Academy Award-winning East Hamptonite Melissa Leo, of The Fighter and Showtime’s I’m Dying Up Here, and Julianne Nicholson of August: Osage County and Black Mass. (Watch the trailer above.)

Taking her love of God to the next logical step, Cathleen seeks to become a nun, entering a convent where she joins the Order of the Sisters of Blessed Rose under the tutelage of a harsh Reverend Mother (Leo). In the convent, Cathleen and her fellow initiates find an institution in turmoil, forcing them to reckon with issues of faith, passion/sexuality and devotion within, and beyond, the church.

Novitiate earned an excellent 87% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while Roger Ebert gave it four stars. The film, rated R, not surprisingly received an O classification—(meaning “morally offensive”) from Catholic News Service.

See Novitiate at Guild Hall’s John Drew Theater in East Hampton (158 Main Street) this Saturday, February 10 at 6 p.m.

For tickets and info, visit hamptonsfilmfest.org.

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