The Secret Scripture (2016)

Aidan Turner, Rooney Mara, Theo James, Eric Bana,
The Secret Scripture is a movie starring Rooney Mara, Aidan Turner, and Theo James. A woman keeps a diary of her extended stay at a mental hospital.
  • 6.7 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Sebastian Barry, Johnny Ferguson, Writer:
  • Jim Sheridan, Director:
  • Noel Pearson, Rob Quigley, Producer:


8 / 10

Very underrated movie

An intriguing story, great acting, some things could have surely been better, but overall it's more than just a good movie, much better than one could tell from it's imdb 6.7 rating

7 / 10


I'm not going to explain the story, that has been done in other reviews. What I do want to say is this

The end of this movie brought tears to my eyes, and literally almost broke me, because I have experienced something similar. No, I didn't live in a mental institution all my life, but the pain and heartache is the same, it's excruciating, at the loss of a lover, a family member (including pets), and especially the loss of your child. At the same time the movie brought pain, it also brought healing.

Many movies can be confusing at first, and some stay that way until the very end. This was not confusing at all, you just needed to follow along, and know that eventually that everything will be clear and fit into place.

An awesome movie, exceptional acting, and the music is beautiful, especially the end title "The Cry Inside," written by Brian Byrne and performed by Kelly Clarkson. It was absolutely gorgeous, a masterpiece. Listening to it, and paying attention to the lyrics, is what finally broke me...I sobbed

"The Cry Inside" never goes away. Rose Kennedy explained it as follows ~

"It has been said, 'time heals all wounds,' I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone."

7 / 10

Beautifully Acted and Directed

Just caught the Gala premiere at TIFF and was stunned by this film.

Vanessa Redgrave and Rooney Mara play older and younger versions of Rose Clear, a woman out of place and out of mind in WWII Ireland. The film is based on the novel of the same name.

The acting in the film is beautiful. Director Jim Sheridan called VR a legend in his introduction to the film and the crowd gave her a standing O at the end. Mara does the incredible job of matching her beat for beat. Theo James (who I've only ever seen in the getting- worse-by-the-minute Divergent series) is downright terrifying as the priest who becomes obsessed with Rose. The photography and direction are top notch as well, and take full advantage of Ireland's natural beauty.

Only criticism is that the plot may be hard to follow if one isn't familiar with the details of Irish/British history. It also becomes a bit predictable, but by the time revelations are made the tears are already flowing so all is forgiven. Otherwise, the story weaves really nicely through the intricacies of being a single woman in that particular time and place. The material is heavy, and rightly so. It's interesting to note the contrast between the way women are treated in the film and the way the plot is so female driven and the two female leads are clearly so respected and credited by their director.

Between this, Una and Lion I wouldn't be surprised to see multiple Oscar nods for Mara.

10 / 10

'There's a sickness in people that stops them seeing the truth.'

Sebastian Barry's brilliant novel SECRET SCRIPTURE has been transformed into an eloquent touching film Johnny Ferguson and Director Jim Sheridan. With moody cinematography by Mikhail Krichman and a musical score by Brian Byrne (with a lot of help from Beethoven) and a perfect cast of actors, this radiantly beautiful film should satisfy a large audience – those who love period pieces, Ireland, sweet romance, ad twists of plot.

Roseanne McNulty (Vanessa Redgrave) must vacate the soon-to-be demolished mental institution in Roscommon, Ireland that she's called home for over 50 years. The hospital's psychiatrist, Dr. William Grene (Eric Bana) is called in to assess her condition. He finds himself intrigued by Roseanne's seemingly inscrutable rituals and tics, and her fierce attachment to her Bible, which she has over the decades transformed into a palimpsest of scripture, drawings, and cryptic diary entries. As Grene delves deeper into Roseanne's past, we see her as the young woman Rose (Rooney Mara), whose charisma proves seductive. We learn that she moved to Sligo to work in her aunt's café, fell in love with a dashing fighter pilot Michael McNulty (Jack Reynor), and that a local priest Father Gaunt (Theo James) fell tragically in love with her. The elderly Lady Rose is institutionalized because it was rumored that she murdered her only child at childbirth. Dr Grene and a nurse (Susan Lynch) are supportive of Lady Rose as the story unfolds in the most sensitive manner.

There is much to be praised in this film – the manner in which the conflict between the Irish and the British altered personal lives and relationships, the horrors of the early 20th century insane asylums, the struggle Catholics priests at times endure with their celibacy vows, and the beauty of Ireland – but the cast is so fine that they shine with this material. This is a very fine film.

7 / 10

Abusing (power)

One of the things I reckon a lot of people fear, is being detained in a mental hospital. While I do think that things probably have improved over the years (dear God let that be true) in those facilities, it still wouldn't be something anyone would look forward to.

The acting is really good, the story engaging and the tension is high. You may feel squeamish at times and sickened, but that is what the movie wants you to feel. Not an easy watch then, but if you can watch it, you will find something that is worth your time and really engaging.