CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – For my money, Melissa Leo is among the most dynamic personalities on the big screen today. This Oscar winning actress turns in another gigantic performance as the inflexible Mother Superior in the powerful religious drama, “Novitiate.”

Melissa Leo grips the audience just as she dominates the young women in her convent. She’s a mesmerizing figure to the young women entering the religious life.

Set in the 1960s, “Novitiate” intrigues its audience on two levels all at once. One, as a psychological and spiritual study into the needs and doubts of the young women who enter the convent. The Mother Superior’s inability to change with the times means she alienates the younger nuns with her unyielding attitudes.

She pulls rank on the younger nun, challenging her with “Are you questioning my judgment”? Questioning her judgment is better left up to the Archbishop, brilliantly played by veteran character actor Denis O’Hare. She just can’t bring herself to accept the changes ordained by the Vatican.

As you can see, “Novitiate” is a serious, thoughtful movie for serious and thoughtful moviegoers. “Novitiate” has universal appeal for everyone, regardless of their religious beliefs. It’s a sensitive drama that easily claims 3 stars.

And don’t forget…Melissa Leo’s performance alone is worth the price of admission…

Melissa Leo, Margaret Qualley, Julianne Nicholson, Denis O’Hare

Rated R

1 hour 50 minutes

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