Review: ‘Benedetta’ Offers a Soullessly Dubious History Lesson

Perhaps it says something dark about society when a film that features a wooden statue of Mary, Mother of God, being used as a sex toy, as Benedetta does, neither shocks nor stirs. 

Or, perhaps, viewers can more easily spot blatant, poorly constructed attempts at provocation these days. 

Whatever the case, Benedetta ends up offering neither titillation nor insight and will likely only outrage those who came looking to be so in the first place. 

Evidently, based on a true story, Benedetta takes us to a 17th Century convent in Italy. 

The abbey has just welcomed the young Bartolomea (Daphne Patakia) seeks refuge from an abusive father. 

Her arrival sparks erotic desire in Sister Benedetta (Virginie Efira) and may or may not push our titular character further into religious hallucinations involving a sword buckling handsome Jesus.