Blu-ray review: “Resurrection” (1980)

“Resurrection” (1980)


Running Time: 103 minutes

Written by: Lewis John Carlino

Directed by: Daniel Petrie

Featuring: Ellen Burstyn, Sam Shepard, Richard Farnsworth, Roberts Blossom, Clifford David, Pamela Payton-Wright, Jeffrey DeMunn and Eva Le Gallienne

Esco Brown: “Go carefully, with peace in your heart, with love in your eyes, and with laughter on your tongue. And if life don’t hand you nothing but lemons, you just make you some lemonade. That’s from Book Brown, Chapter One, Verse One.”

“Resurrection,” directed by Daniel Petrie and starring Ellen Burstyn and Sam Shepard. This film tells the story of a woman named Edna Mae (Burstyn) who, after being pronounced dead for several minutes following a car accident, experiences a spiritual awakening and begins to exhibit miraculous healing powers.

Overall, “Resurrection” is a well-acted and emotionally affecting film that explores themes of faith, spirituality, and the power of belief. Burstyn gives a powerful performance as Edna Mae, conveying both the fear and confusion she experiences following her accident, as well as the sense of purpose and connection she feels as she begins to heal others. Shepard also delivers a strong performance as Cal, a troubled man who becomes Edna Mae’s love interest.

One of the strengths of the film is the way it portrays Edna Mae’s healing powers as ambiguous and open to interpretation. Some characters believe she is performing genuine miracles, while others see her as a fraud or a danger to herself and others. This ambiguity allows the film to explore complex questions about the nature of faith and the role of belief in healing.

However, the film can also feel slow-paced at times, and some viewers may find the religious themes heavy-handed or off-putting. Additionally, some of the supporting characters feel underdeveloped, and the film’s climax can feel somewhat rushed and unsatisfying.

Overall, “Resurrection” is a thought-provoking and emotionally resonant film that is worth watching for Burstyn’s powerful performance and the film’s exploration of faith and healing.

Additionally, the film’s themes of resilience, personal transformation, and the search for meaning are also effectively portrayed. Edna Mae’s journey from a traumatized and broken woman to a confident and compassionate healer is inspiring and heartwarming. The film also highlights the importance of community and support in the healing process, as Edna Mae is able to find acceptance and understanding among a group of like-minded individuals who have also experienced spiritual awakenings.

The cinematography and music in “Resurrection” are also noteworthy, with the film’s visual style conveying both the beauty and the starkness of the rural setting in which the story takes place. The music, composed by Maurice Jarre, adds to the film’s emotional impact with its haunting and uplifting melodies.

Overall, “Resurrection” is a touching and thought-provoking film that is sure to leave an impression on viewers who are open to its themes of faith, spirituality, and personal growth. While it may not be for everyone, those who are drawn to stories of healing and transformation are likely to find much to appreciate in this film.

Another strength of “Resurrection” is its portrayal of the relationship between Edna Mae and Cal. While their romance may seem unlikely at first, their connection feels authentic and genuine, and their interactions are filled with nuance and complexity. Cal’s journey from a skeptical and troubled loner to a supportive and loving partner is also well-developed and adds depth to the film’s themes of redemption and personal growth.

One of the film’s most memorable scenes is when Edna Mae visits a terminally ill boy in the hospital and is able to bring him back to life through her healing powers. The scene is both moving and suspenseful, and highlights the potential consequences of Edna Mae’s abilities. It also adds to the film’s exploration of the complex relationship between faith, belief, and healing.

While “Resurrection” may not be a perfect film, its strengths far outweigh its weaknesses. Burstyn’s nuanced and powerful performance anchors the film, while the exploration of faith, spirituality, and personal growth is both thought-provoking and emotionally resonant. Overall, “Resurrection” is a film that is well worth watching, particularly for those who are interested in stories of healing and transformation.

Another interesting aspect of “Resurrection” is the way it portrays the tension between traditional medicine and alternative healing methods. Edna Mae’s healing powers are initially dismissed by medical professionals as a mere coincidence or a result of her brain damage, and she faces skepticism and opposition from many people who are skeptical of her abilities. However, as she continues to heal people and attract a following, she also attracts the attention of those who seek to exploit her for their own gain. This tension adds another layer of complexity to the film’s exploration of faith and belief, and raises important questions about the ethics of healing practices and the importance of informed consent.

The film’s ending may feel ambiguous or unsatisfying to some viewers, as it leaves many questions unanswered and doesn’t provide a clear resolution to the conflicts and dilemmas raised throughout the story. However, this ambiguity also leaves room for interpretation and reflection, and invites viewers to think more deeply about the film’s themes and ideas.

Overall, “Resurrection” is a well-crafted and thought-provoking film that deserves to be better known. Burstyn’s performance is outstanding, and the film’s exploration of faith, healing, and personal transformation is both insightful and emotionally engaging. While it may not appeal to everyone, those who are drawn to spiritual or philosophical films are likely to find much to appreciate in this underrated gem.


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