Nun so bold

In the provocative religious drama I, the Worst of All, a creature of habit struggles for creative expression

And she rarely overemphasizes any of her thematic points. There are only a handful of lines and scenes that feel off, including a discussion of the church's treatment of nuns that spells everything out in a rather clunky way ("The church is implacable with its rebellious daughters"), and a sexually tense conversation between Juana and Luisa that ends with the viceroy smiling like Vivien Leigh in Blanche DuBois mode and purring, "Open my bodice--it's too tight."

It's only because Bemberg is so precise and reserved that the film doesn't veer toward camp more often. Because I, Worst of All is constructed with such simplicity, sincerity, and directness, it lends itself organically to the straightforward exchange of philosophical and religious ideas. The script's big issues stream through the drama naturally, like beams of light through panes of stained glass, and the results are intimate and illuminating.

I, the Worst of All (Yo, La Peor de Todas). First Run Features. Assumpta Serna, Dominique Sanda. Written by Maria Luisa Bemberg and Antonio Lareta, based on The Traps of Faith, by Octavio Paz. Directed by Maria Luisa Bemberg. Through March 2 at the Major Theatre.

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