Mary Magdalene is currently due for a theatrical release in the UK and Australia, and reviews have begun to emerge over the past few days. Naturally, not all of them are positive, but I have included a short round-up of some that have been released so far – notably for their comments on Rooney’s performance. You can view the full review by clicking the respective publication links.
ABC NEWS AUSTRALIA – Rooney Mara, with a presence that’s magnetic, though sometimes enigmatic to the point of impenetrable. Cast opposite Joaquin Phoenix’s wild-eyed, troubled Jesus, she’s a solemn character who watches silently and tries to penetrate the surface of things.
NME – Mara’s standout performance is filled with piercing looks and smouldering intensity. She runs rings around Phoenix, who plays the Son of God like a stoned Obi Wan Kenobi – lots of gazing wistfully at the sunset and mumbling incoherently.
LITTLE WHITE LIES – Rooney Mara in the title role manages to hold our attention even when the film focuses on the preacher, her performance outshining that of Joaquin Phoenix as the Son of God.
EMPIRE – We get to see how Mary might really have lived, hauling fish nets with her sisters on the shore of Galilee, and resisting her father and brother’s attempts to marry her off with such nonconformist vehemence they assume demons have infested her soul. Portrayed with poise and resilience by Rooney Mara, she’s an initially compelling figure who appears in virtually every scene, whether enraptured by the sermons of Jesus (Phoenix), tending to the starving victims of Roman oppression, or defiantly tackling the jealousy of the other disciples, primarily the put-out Peter.