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Stigmata

Director:Rupert Wainwright
Writers:Tom Lazarus and Rick Ramage
MGM; R; 102 minutes
Release:9/99
Cast:Patricia Arquette, Gabriel Byrne, Jonathan Pryce

It's not every day that your local party-hearty hairdresser sports Crucifixion-style wounds. When this happens to Frankie (Patricia Arquette) in her cute Philadelphia loft, a handsome Vatican-issued miracle investigator, Father Kiernan (Gabriel Byrne), rushes to the scene. Archly unpleasant Roman officials try to stamp out the truth of a long-suppressed Biblical text that Frankie keeps discussing in ancient Aramaic. Some think she's been possessed by a recently-dead Brazilian saint. Some think she's an amalgam of other, better movie characters. An attraction develops between hedonistic Frankie and hunky Father Kiernan. Arquette remains sultry on substandard material, although she's forced to suffer through demonic overdubbing.

Equal parts Exorcist and anti-papal invective, Stigmata is an odd, confused combination. And the entire package is filmed with the cursory stylization of a music video.