The Nun (2013 film)

The Nun

French theatrical release poster
Directed by Guillaume Nicloux
Produced by Sylvie Pialat
Written by Guillaume Nicloux
Jérôme Beaujour
Based on La Religieuse
by Denis Diderot
Music by Max Richter
Cinematography Yves Cape
Edited by Guy Lecorne
Distributed by Le Pacte (France)
Release dates
  • 10 February 2013 (2013-02-10) (Berlin)
  • 20 March 2013 (2013-03-20) (France)
Running time
100 minutes
Country France
Language French
Budget €5.5 million[1]

The Nun (French: La Religieuse) is a 2013 French drama film directed by Guillaume Nicloux. It is based on the 18th-century novel La Religieuse by French writer Denis Diderot. The film premiered in competition at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival.[2] It received two nominations at the 4th Magritte Awards, winning Best Actress for Pauline Étienne,[3] and a nomination at the 39th César Awards.[4]


The young Suzanne Simonin is forced by her parents to become a nun. She learns that as an illegitimate child, she is supposed to atone for her mother’s sin. Her abbess treats her nicely but when she dies and another takes her place, Suzanne considers breaking her vows. Due to the maltreatment she undergoes, she is thrown into a world of punishment. It is not until a friend gives Suzanne some hope that she may not have to remain a nun forever that Suzanne's punishment does ease up.



The Hollywood Reporter 's Jordan Mintzer highlighted that director Nicloux and his co-writer Beaujour breathed new life into the classic story by making the protagonist "much more of a fighting spirit" and by adding a "revised ending". He said this film was "held together by a terrific lead performance".[5] Variety's Boyd van Hoeij certified the film was "slickly assembled" and frequently provided a "painting-like" cinematography.[6] Cine Vue's Patrick Gamble judged The Nun suffered from an "inability to deviate from absurdity"".[7]

Awards and nominations

Award Category Nominee Result
Berlin International Film Festival Golden Berlin Bear Guillaume Nicloux Nominated
César Awards Most Promising Actress Pauline Etienne Nominated
Lumiere Awards Most Promising Young Actress Pauline Etienne Nominated
Magritte Awards Best Foreign Film in Coproduction Nominated
Best Actress Pauline Etienne Won

See also


  1. "La Religieuse". JP's Box-Office.
  2. "Berlinale Competition 2013: Another Nine Films Confirmed". berlinale. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  3. Lorfèvre, Alain (1 February 2014). "Trois Magritte pour "Ernest et Célestine"". La Libre Belgique (in French). Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  4. "Berenice Bejo, Lea Seydoux, Roman Polanski Among France's Cesar Awards Nominees". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  5. "The Nun (La Religieuse): Berlin Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  6. "'The Nun' review". Variety. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  7. "Berlin Film Festival 2013: 'The Nun' review". Cine Vue. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
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