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Saint Maud is a 2019 British psychological horror film written and directed by Rose Glass in her feature directorial debut. The story follows hospice nurse Maud (portrayed by Morfydd Clark), a recent convert to Roman Catholicism, who becomes obsessed with a former dancer in her care (Jennifer Ehle), believing she must save her soul by any means necessary.
Saint Maud premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on 8 September 2019, and was theatrically released in the United Kingdom on 9 October 2020 by StudioCanal UK. The film received acclaim from critics, who praised the direction, atmosphere, performances, and score.
A nurse named Katie fails to save the life of a patient in her care, despite attempting CPR.
Some time later, Katie, now referring to herself as Maud, has become a devout Roman Catholic and is working as a private palliative care nurse in an English seaside town. She is assigned to care for Amanda, a dancer and choreographer from the U.S. who is terminally ill with stage four lymphoma. Amanda is embittered by her fate and confesses to Maud that she fears the oblivion of death. Maud comes to believe that God has tasked her with saving the atheist Amanda s soul. Maud reveals to Amanda that she sometimes feels God s presence, and she and Amanda appear to be overcome with ecstasy as they pray together.
Maud becomes suspicious of Amanda s companion Carol, who visits regularly and whom Amanda pays for sex. She implores Carol to stop visiting because she believes Amanda s soul is in jeopardy due to distractions of the flesh. Carol is incensed by this, accusing Maud of homophobia, but Maud rebukes this stating that she would not care whether Carol were a man or a woman. Carol attends Amanda s birthday party anyway, and in front of Maud, Amanda informs the partygoers that Maud tried to drive Carol away. She mocks the young nurse for trying to save her soul and suggests that she is a homophobic prude, jealous of Carol and Amanda s affair. Maud strikes Amanda and is dismissed from her job.
Believing that God has rejected her, Maud visits a pub to find companionship but is rejected by most of the people she meets. She goes home with a man and during sex, suffers flashbacks of the death of her patient and her attempts at CPR, which causes her to stop. The man rapes her and then, as she is leaving, taunts her by revealing he remembers her hooking up with a friend of his during her hedonistic past.
While out walking, she encounters Amanda s new nurse and storms off when she realizes that her replacement enjoys a good relationship with Amanda. In her decrepit apartment, Maud begs for a sign from God who appears to tell her to be ready for an act that will demonstrate her faith. Maud interprets a vortex in the clouds as a sign from God.
That night, Maud, dressed in a makeshift robe and wearing rosary beads, enters Amanda s house after the care nurse leaves. She finds Amanda in bed, weakened. Amanda asks forgiveness for mocking her faith, and Maud joyously reminds her of the time they experienced God s presence. Amanda reveals that she feigned the experience and that she believes God is not real. Maud recoils in horror as a now-demonic Amanda hurls her across the room and mocks her for needing to prove her faith. In a delirious frenzy, Maud stabs Amanda to death.
In the morning, Maud wanders onto a beach and douses herself with acetone before horrified onlookers. She utters her last words in Welsh — Glory to God — as she self-immolates. In her last moments, angel wings appear upon her and the onlookers kneel in awe as Maud looks up to the sky glowing with grace. The scene then reverts to reality briefly, revealing a burning Maud screaming in agony.
- Morfydd Clark as Katie/Maud
- Jennifer Ehle as Amanda Köhl
- Lily Knight as Joy
- Lily Frazer as Carol
- Turlough Convery as Christian
- Rosie Sansom as Ester
- Marcus Hutton as Richard
- Carl Prekopp as Homeless Pat
- Noa Bodner as Hilary
- Takatsuna Mukai as Hiro
- Brian Jackson as Drummer
The film was developed by Escape Plan Productions with funding from Film4. In November 2018, it was announced Clark and Ehle had joined the cast of the film, with Rose Glass directing from her own screenplay. The film was fully financed by Film4 Productions and the British Film Institute. The scenes with the beach and the seaside town was filmed in the town of Scarborough, North Yorkshire.
The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on 8 September 2019. Shortly after, A24 and StudioCanal acquired U.S. and U.K. distribution rights to the film. It also screened at Fantastic Fest on 19 September 2019, and the BFI London Film Festival on 5 October 2019. The film went on to receive a Special Commendation in the Official Competition section of the London Film Festival, with the jury president, Wash Westmoreland, saying, This dazzling directorial debut marks the emergence of a powerful new voice in British cinema.
It was scheduled to be released in the United States on 10 April 2020, and the United Kingdom on 1 May 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the release was postponed in the United States until 17 July 2020, and was later pulled entirely from the schedule. It was released theatrically in the United Kingdom on 9 October 2020 to positive reviews, and was released on DVD and Blu-ray in the United Kingdom on 1 February 2021. It was released as a limited release in the United States on 29 January 2021, followed by video on demand and Epix on 12 February 2021.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 92% based on 184 reviews, with an average rating of 8/10. The site s critics consensus reads, A brilliantly unsettling blend of body horror and psychological thriller, Saint Maud marks an impressive debut for writer-director Rose Glass. On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 83 out of 100 based on 35 critics, indicating universal acclaim .
Director Danny Boyle described Saint Maud as a genuinely unsettling and intriguing film. Striking, affecting and mordantly funny at times, its confidence evokes the ecstasy of films like Carrie, The Exorcist, and Jonathan Glazer s Under the Skin. Katie Rife of The A.V. Club gave the film a grade of B+ , saying that the finale was shocking.
Film critic Mark Kermode listed it as his favourite film of 2020, calling it an electrifying debut .
|British Academy Film Awards||Outstanding British Film||Rose Glass, Andrea Cornwell and Oliver Kassman||Nominated|
|Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer||Rose Glass and Andrea Cornwell||Nominated|
|British Independent Film Awards||Best British Independent Film||Rose Glass, Andrea Cornwell and Oliver Kassman||Nominated|
|Best Director||Rose Glass||Nominated|
|Best Actress||Morfydd Clark||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress||Jennifer Ehle||Nominated|
|Best Screenplay||Rose Glass||Nominated|
|Douglas Hickox Award (Best Debut Director)||Rose Glass||Won|
|Best Debut Screenwriter||Rose Glass||Nominated|
|Breakthrough Producer||Oliver Kassman||Nominated|
|Best Casting||Kharmel Cochrane||Nominated|
|Best Cinematography||Ben Fordesman||Won|
|Best Costume Design||Tina Kalivas||Nominated|
|Best Editing||Mark Towns||Nominated|
|Best Effects||Scott Macintyre, Baris Kareli and Kristyan Mallett||Nominated|
|Best Make Up & Hair Design||Jacquetta Levon||Nominated|
|Best Music||Adam Janota Bzowski||Nominated|
|Best Production Design||Paulina Rzeszowska||Nominated|
|Best Sound||Paul Davies||Nominated|
|London Film Critics Circle Awards||Film of the Year||Saint Maud||Nominated|
|Director of the Year||Rose Glass||Nominated|
|Actress of the Year||Morfydd Clark||Nominated|
|Supporting Actress of the Year||Jennifer Ehle||Nominated|
|Screenwriter of the Year||Rose Glass||Nominated|
|British/Irish Film of the Year||Saint Maud||Won|
|British/Irish Actress of the Year||Morfydd Clark||Won|
|Breakthrough British/Irish Filmmaker of the Year||Rose Glass||Won|
|Festival international du film fantastique de Gérardmer||Grand Prix||Saint Maud||Won|
|Best Music||Adam Janota Bzowki||Won|
|Prix de la critique||Saint Maud||Won|
|Plot||A pious nurse becomes dangerously obsessed with saving the soul of her dying patient.|
|Awards||Nominated for 2 BAFTA Awards, 11 wins & 32 nominations total|
|Stars||Morfydd Clark, Caoilfhionn Dunne, Jennifer Ehle|
|Produced by||Daniel Battsek, Mary Burke, Andrea Cornwell, Tim Dennison, Oliver Kassman, Sam Lavender|
|Music by||Adam Janota Bzowski|
|Cinematography by||Ben Fordesman|
|Film Editing by||Mark Towns|
|Casting By||Kharmel Cochrane|
|Production Design by||Paulina Rzeszowska|
|Art Direction by||Isobel Dunhill|
|Set Decoration by||Anna Mould|
|Costume Design by||Tina Kalivas|
|Makeup Department||Satinder Chumber, Robb Crafer, Emmalee Etherington, Velina Iankova, Alex King, Jacquetta Levon, Jane Maier, Kristyan Mallett|
|Production Management||Charlotte Dean, Anna Jancsó|
|Second Unit Director or Assistant Director||Rory Broadfoot, Andrew Cumming, Nathan Foote, Cordelia Hardy, Naomi King, Gareth Lewis, Toby Spanton|
|Art Department||Ursa Banton-Miller, Jessica Barrell, Alannah Byrne, Katie Clarke, Frantisek Copf, Edward Grayson, Edward Grayson, Callum Haden, Douglas Ingram, Charlie Innell, Baris Kareli, Annie McClure, Ysra-el st Clair Miller, Anna Oldham-Cooper, Sophia Daly Rossin, Mark Smith, Lionel Stanhope, George Syborn, James Waddingham, Robyn Wilton|
|Sound Department||Craig Conybeare, Ben Cross, Paul Davies, Simon Farmer, Andrew Jones, Andrew Stirk, Ian Waggott, Hannes Wannerberger, Adam Williams, Adam Clayton Williams|
|Special Effects by||Baris Kareli, Scott MacIntyre, Eddy Popplewell|
|Visual Effects by||Miguel Algora, Nicholas Bennett, Nick Bennett, Christian Block, Gary J. Brown, Kerrie Bryant, Tim Chauncey, Zoe Cousins, Danielle Dunster, Chris Forrester, Keagan Harris, Keagan Harris, Joe Holt, Timothy P. Jones, David Myles, Diogo Oliveira, Rob Pizzey, Tommy Southgate, Kate Warburton|
|Stunts||Gary Arthurs, Andy Bennett, Bill Davey, Rachael Evelyn, Nadia Hansell|
|Camera and Electrical Department||Teresa Adamson, John Ash, Sean Beasley, David Bird, David Bird, Sam Bull, Tom Bull, Jake Butt, Ben Caldwell, Dean Coffey, Malcolm Cooper, Marn Davies, Matt Dickinson, James Elias, Noah Furrer, Ken Gammon, Edel Gardner, Ryan Gould, Alan Graham, Julia Green, Ernie Griffith, Neil Hawkins, Tim Jordan, Veronica Keszthelyi, Raz Khamehseifi, David Lewis, Angel Loranca, James Malamatinas, Ben Manwaring, Alison Martin, Lee Naylor-Vane, Elliott Pate, Terry Pate, Richard Potter, Jerry Pradon, Laura Radford, Ben Ransley, Luciana Riso, Rob Stewart, Alison Streatfield, Paul Tattersfield, Sam Tiley, Antonis Tsiakos, Edward Tucker, Nick Wall, Doug Walshe, Wolfie Wasserman, Neil Webster, Angus Young|
|Animation Department||Tiago Barbosa|
|Casting Department||Joelle Cochrane, May Douglas, Ariane Mason|
|Costume and Wardrobe Department||Grace James, Devon Opp, Mia Hope Radford|
|Editorial Department||Sophie Billington, Jonathan Collard, Tom Corbett, Rob Farris, Neil Harrison, Lawrence Hook, Emma Liu, John Percival, Alexander Phillips, Finlay Reid, Tom Rogers, Tommy Southgate, Daniel Tomlinson, Laurent Treherne, Chloe Warner-Harris|
|Location Management||Paul Coverdale, Alastair Don, Joe Gradwell, Konstantinos Iordanou, Mark Rigby, Joseph Simmons, Jess Waluga, Ian Warner, Ian Warner|
|Music Department||Lesley Jackson, Jen Moss, Robin Stout, Superhuman, Liam Westbrook|
|Script and Continuity Department||Shaida Kazemi|
|Transportation Department||Neil Maiden, Tony O Neill, Colin Sheffield|
|Additional Crew||Reno Antoniades, Claire Ashton, Casper Bach, Fred Bentley, Louise Bradley, Francesca Castelbuono, Jordan Chandler, Celine Coulson, Alex Critchley, Lauren Dark, Simone Dawkins, Grace Dickinson, Rose Dyfebeedell, Jackson Ezard, Nick Fore, Rose Fyfebeedell, Jonny Garbutt, Patrick Gillespie, Paul Haddock, George Hamilton, Paul Hillier, Daisy-May Hudson, Mick Hurrell, Kristin Irving, Matt Jarman, Conor Kane, Eddie Kane, Emily Leach, Dean Light, Grant Martindale, Alastair Mavor, Mike Medcraft, Jessica Moran, Nancy, Paul Sutton, Antony Swiatek, Katie Volker, Alexander Waldemar, Ian Warner, Rafe Williams|
|Thanks||Michael Kuhn, Sanford Lieberson, Frederick Manners, Sarah Nichols, Judy Spours, Thora Woodward, Eva Yates|
|Genres||Drama, Horror, Mystery|
|Companies||Escape Plan Productions, Film4, BFI Film Fund|
|Keywords||dying patient,care giver,obsession,female vomiting,self harm|