“Around halfway through Saint Maud (A24, 4.3), writer-director Rose Glass constructs a cinematic wince moment for the ages, involving nails, bare feet and a young woman with a Christ complex far too big for her own snappable body. ‘Never waste your pain,’ she says, and this short, sharp needle-jab of a horror parable from bleakest Britain takes the same advice.
“Glass is sparing with her shocks, but knows how to make them count, like sudden voltage surges in the fritzed, volatile machinery of her narrative, each one leaving the protagonist a little more anxiously damaged than before.
“A meek, devoutly Christian palliative nurse, with an open wound of a past and what she believes is a higher calling for the future, Maud is like Carrie White and her mother Margaret rolled into one unholy holy terror; as played with brilliant, blood-freezing intensity by Morfydd Clark, she’s a genre anti-heroine to cherish, protect and recoil from, sometimes all at once.” — from Guy Lodge‘s 9.8.19 Variety review.
Question: The titular character is played by Welsh actress Morfydd Clark. To American ears the first name sounds…well, classy and storied, but also a bit somber. Like the name, perhaps, of the sister of Mordred, the villainous Arthurian figure.