Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Rupert Wainwright|
|Produced by||Frank Mancuso, Jr.
|Written by||Tom Lazarus
|Music by||Billy Corgan
|Cinematography||Jeffrey L. Kimball|
|Edited by||Michael R. Miller|
|Running time||103 minutes|
Stigmata is a 1999 supernatural horror film directed by Rupert Wainwright and starring Patricia Arquette as an atheist hairdresser from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who is afflicted with the stigmata after acquiring a rosary formerly owned by a deceased Italian priest who himself suffered from the phenomenon. Gabriel Byrne plays a Vatican official who investigates her case, and Jonathan Pryce plays a corrupt Catholic Church official.
The film opens in the Brazilian village of Belo Quinto, with Father Andrew Kiernan (Gabriel Byrne), a former scientist and an ordained Jesuit priest who investigates supposed miracles, examining a statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe weeping blood at the funeral of Father Paulo Alameida (Jack Donner). While Andrew is collecting evidence, a young boy steals the rosary from the father's hand. The boy later sells it to a woman in a marketplace, who sends it to her atheist daughter Frankie Paige (Patricia Arquette) living in Pittsburgh.
Shortly after, Frankie is attacked by an unseen force while bathing, and receives two deep wounds on her wrists. As the wounds are treated, the doctors cannot find the cause beyond that they are puncture wounds and go all the way through the wrist. On the way home from work on the train, Frankie approaches a priest and asks if he is Andrew Kiernan. After the priest tells her he is Father Derning, the lights in the train begin to flash, and Frankie is whipped from behind by an unseen force, Father Derning watching in horror. While Frankie is hospitalized again, the priest sends security tapes showing the attack to the Vatican, and Andrew is sent to investigate.
Andrew meets Frankie, who tells him she has been expecting him, and Andrew interviews her, believing her wounds may be stigmata. When she tells him she is an atheist, Andrew tells her that stigmata is when the deeply devoted are struck with the five wounds that Jesus Christ received during the crucifixion. Frankie begins to unsuccessfully research on her own what the cause could be. Later, at a nightclub, her head begins to bleed, the third stigmata wound caused by the Crown of Thorns. Frankie runs home, where Andrew is waiting, and then runs into an alley. As Andrew pursues her, Frankie smashes a glass bottle and uses the shards to carve symbols on the hood of a car: when Andrew approaches her, she yells at him in another language.
Andrew takes Frankie to Father Derning's church, and the Vatican translates what she was yelling as Aramaic, the language of Christ. The next morning, Andrew returns to her apartment to find her writing on the wall, now covered in Aramaic. Frankie talks in a male voice, speaking Italian. Later, wounds appear in her feet, the fourth wound of stigmata. Andrew emails photographs of Frankie's apartment wall to the Vatican, where Brother Delmonico (Dick Latessa) recognizes the words and deletes the pictures. He tells Andrew the words are from a document the church found that looked to be an entirely new gospel. Father Dario (Enrico Colantoni) shows the pictures to Cardinal Daniel Houseman (Jonathan Pryce), who also recognizes them. Delmonico phones Marion Petrocelli (Rade Šerbedžija) and tells him the missing gospel has been found in Pittsburgh.
In Pittsburgh, Andrew goes to Frankie's apartment to find the wall she wrote on painted over, and Frankie attempts to seduce him. When Andrew rejects her, she attacks him and denounces his beliefs in a male voice, ending with Frankie levitating off the bed, crying tears of blood. Houseman and Dario arrive with Derning and take Frankie to another church, sending Andrew to Derning's. At Derning's church, Andrew meets Petrocelli, who tells him the words Frankie has been writing are part of a document found outside Jerusalem that they believed to be a gospel in the exact words of Jesus. Petrocelli, Delmonico and Alameida were assigned to translate it, but Houseman ordered them to stop. Alameida refused and stole the document to continue translating it alone, having been excommunicated by Houseman.
Petrocelli tells Andrew that the document was Jesus telling his disciples that the Kingdom of God is in all of us and not confined to churches, a revelation that could ruin the Catholic Church. Petrocelli also tells Andrew that Alameida suffered from stigmata. Andrew races to the church where Frankie is, while Houseman and Dario attempt to perform an exorcism on Frankie. Frankie shouts at them in a male voice, and Houseman attempts to strangle her. Andrew stops him, and the room is set on fire. Now believing Frankie is possessed by Alameida's spirit, Andrew offers to be Alameida's messenger instead. He walks unharmed through the fire to retrieve Frankie, bidding Alameida's spirit to depart in peace. Some time later, Andrew returns to Belo Quinto and finds the original documents for the lost gospel in Alameida's church.
The film ends with a screen of text describing the discovery of the Gospel of Thomas, believed, according to the film, to be the closest thing to the actual words of Jesus while alive: the film states the Catholic Church refuses to recognize the document as a gospel and considers it heresy.
- Patricia Arquette as Frankie Paige
- Gabriel Byrne as Father Andrew Kiernan
- Jonathan Pryce as Cardinal Daniel Houseman
- Nia Long as Donna Chadway
- Rade Šerbedžija as Marion Petrocelli
- Enrico Colantoni as Father Dario
- Jack Donner as Father Paulo Alameida
- Thomas Kopache as Father Durning
- Dick Latessa as Father Gianni Delmonico
- Portia de Rossi as Jennifer Kelliho
- Patrick Muldoon as Steven
- Ann Cusack as Dr. Reston
- Shaun Toub as Doctor
Stigmata, produced on a $29 million budget, premièred at the box office in the number one position, earning $18.3 million in its first weekend, becoming the first film in five weekends to outgross The Sixth Sense at the box office. In the United States, Stigmata earned $50,046,268. Internationally the film earned $39,400,000 for a total world wide gross $89,446,268.
Roger Ebert called it "possibly the funniest movie ever made about Catholicism — from a theological point of view." Gabriel Byrne was nominated for a Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor for his performances in both this film and End of Days, where he lost to Ahmed Best as the voice of Jar Jar Binks in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.
- Stigmata at the Internet Movie Database
- Stigmata at AllMovie
- Stigmata at Box Office Mojo
- Stigmata at Rotten Tomatoes