Several of the cast members of this movie have noted that the budgetpretty much ran out near the end. Fortunately by then you are sofascinated to find out how it will all end the shortcuts are easy toignore. This is one you remember. There's a certain type of convert -to religion, politics, you name it - who is so sure of him or herselfthey just can't ever stop and question whether they've substituted anarrogant certainty where faith and humility should reside.Seldom is this zealotry depicted in film, and if it is usually somesecondary character wears the label, all the better to comment on orcontrast with the actions of the main characters. Here that characteris front and center. The sin of pride born of absolute certainty isMimi Rogers real co-star. Rogers is so effective here because herzealotry is low-key. She is soft spoken and serene, a lovely woman.Only gradually do we see how deep rooted is her need to understand Godin her own way and how convinced she is that she's doing it absolutelythe right way.Movies never, ever take a certain type of religious conversion all theway to such a logical conclusion. For me, that's what makes this moviesuch a stunner. I've always been sorry this film never got it's due inthe theatrical release, but the subject matter, coming after an openingact glimpse of Rogers' empty sexual adventuring, probably made it adouble whammy for timid theater owners. If it were released next weeksomehow I don't think it would be nearly as ignored as it was. I onlymade an effort to see it because Roger Ebert paid it some specialattention in his review, and I'm glad I did. This movie needs a DVDrelease, because it definitely is an overlooked and memorable film thatshould prompt many a conversation about worthwhile matters of thespirit.As I write this there is a certain amount of criticism of ClintEastwood's "Million Dollar Baby" coming from various corners, includingone film critic who claims that Hollywood dislikes religion. "TheRapture" seems to me a perfect example of a movie designed to startuseful discussions about what it means to be outwardly "religious" inan "us vs. them" mindset rather than truly, inclusively spiritual. Idon't recall any public commentary about this movie when it came out atall, yet I'd say it is far more the provocative of the two.
A haunting movie -- one that lingers in the mind (and the heart) for a longtime afterwards. Mimi Rogers turns in a stunning performance as a womantrapped in a cycle of dull work and duller play, whose life is transformedtwice -- first by a religious conversion, and then by coming face to facewith the literal meaning of that conversion. She is incandescent in herbelief, and in the movie's final scenes, takes on the epic proportions of aJob or King Lear. You may be puzzled, conflicted, or even offended bywhatthe movie "means," but you won't be able to walk away from ituntouched.
I like many different kinds of movies, but this is one of my veryfavorites because it's among the rare few that really touched me. Thefilm takes on a HUGE subject (the price of devotion) in a very directand simple way, and truly brought me inside the heroine's world. I think a lot of us can identify with Sharon's yearning to getsomething more out of life; I mean, who can claim this is really thebest of all possible worlds? (Look around!) The scene where Sharonbreaks down after showering in scalding water, weeping that she's tiredof all the pain and emptiness, is unforgettable. Mimi Rogers plays thepart with complete conviction, and I especially like her glowingserenity in the middle section in which she's saved. (The actress'delivery is occasionally a bit flat, but I actually think that'sbrilliant. Roger's isn't playing a rocket scientist, just a lost,ordinary woman.) As for the poster who made the brilliant observationthat the character "looks just as bored and unfulfilled by random groupsex as she is by answering telephones all day," um, that's the point.In the first group sex scene Sharon enjoys herself, yet she eventuallyleaves the swingers scene when she feels unfulfilled.I also love the sequence where the born-again Sharon is at work,proselytizing The Word to people who've only called DirectoryAssistance for phone numbers. ("Well I'm sure you're in a hurry, butdon't you think you could take time out to get to know your Lord andSavior?") The scene where Sharon tells her old party pal that she's meta really great guy (Jesus) is priceless as well, and the scene whereshe's pulled over by a cop near the end and breaks down is extremelypowerful.The film does look a little low budget, especially near the end, butit's a movie about ideas and emotion, not spectacle. It's a thoughtfuland thorough film, with an articulate point of view that doesn't judgeits characters who enjoy evangelical faith...which is rather unlike thejudgmental view of the God we're usually presented with.
Uncommon mix of sex and religion is hard hitting and thought provoking. Mimi Rogers, giving easily the finest performance of 1991 (and many otheryears), was completely overlooked by the industry, and that's unfortunatefor us. She is so superb in this film, that it is inconceivable that shedoesn't work more than she does. She is supported by a fine cast, mostnotably, Kimberly Cullum, as Mary. It's too bad that Mimi Rogers isn't given more roles in Hollywood; but we do have this performance, in thisfilm, and I highly recommend it!
This is one of those films that come along in a great while that bothenthralls and disturbs you. Mimi Rodgers plays a woman caught up indepressing job as a directory assistance operator with her only escape, thesexual games and encounters she has with her lover. Driven to seek a betterlife, she is drawn into a religious cult that has her believing theApocalypse is near. She is chosen by the group to go out to the ruggedlandscape and wait for a sign from God. What happens there is theremarkableand torturous journey of a woman brought to madness and questioning allthatshe believes in. This film haunts you long afterwards like witnessing aroadside accident. You are mesmerized by the horror of it while at the sametime wanting to turn away. This film is powerful, provocative and deeplymoving. A must see for serious film lovers.