2020 Academy Awards® Nominee
BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM
Language: In Polish with English Subtitles
Anchored by a “dynamically physical, wild-eyed performance” (The Hollywood Reporter) from newcomer Bartosz Bielenia, CORPUS CHRISTI is an incisive, darkly humorous, and “engrossing exploration of faith, second chances and the possibility of atonement” (Screen).
After spending years in a Warsaw prison for a violent crime, 20-year-old Daniel is released and sent to a remote village to work as a manual laborer. The job is designed to keep the ex-con busy, but Daniel has a higher calling. Over the course of his incarceration he has found Christ, and aspires to join the clergy – but his criminal record means no seminary will accept him. When Daniel arrives in town, one quick lie allows him to be mistaken for the town’s new priest, and he sets about leading his newfound flock. Though he has no training, his passion and charisma inspire the community. At the same time, his unconventional sermons and unpriestly behavior raise suspicions among some of the townsfolk – even more so as he edges towards a dark secret that the community hasn’t revealed in the confessional booth.
“Original and absorbing. What is true faith and what’s fakery is a question that runs through Polish director Jan Komasa’s slow-burn drama Corpus Christi, its dark intensity channeled in a dynamically physical, wild-eyed performance from talented young lead Bartosz Bielenia. ”
— David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
“Often moving but also disquieting and even intermittently funny, this drama unfurls a spiritual parable that is uniquely Polish but accessible to all. Piotr Sobociński’s blue-toned cinematography enhances the rapturous air and enhances a smartly written, unsettling work of realism.”
— Leslie Felperin, The Guardian
“In his superb new movie, Jan Komasa investigates the social dynamics of a small community that gets a new priest who hides his true identity.”
— Ola Salwa, Cineuropa
“If Oscars were decided according to the speed with which voters flipped out when they stared into the eyes of the principal character, “Corpus Christi” would be an easy winner. Corpus Christi” is neither a parable nor an allegory, yet image after image seems charged with intent, from the opening shot—of carpenters’ saws, grating to and fro like instruments of torture—to the climax, an apocalyptic welter of fire and blood. This Daniel has no need to enter a lions’ den. If I were a lion, I’d be afraid to enter his.”
— Anthony Lane, The New Yorker
“Corpus Christi is a one-of-a-kind film that is funny, fresh, moving and one of 2019’s best.”
— Hanna B., Film Threat