Time Out says
Having made two likeable, issue-based films – ‘Gypo’ with Paul McGann and ‘Ruby Blue’ with Bob Hoskins – independent British writer-director Jan Dunn seems straitjacketed with her third. St Bertha’s is the eccentrically populated Benedictine priory to which pretty, blackout-prone dentistry student Joanna (Emily Beecham) feels called by God, eliciting the scorn of her pal (Chloe Sirene), the anger of her mother (Amanda Donohoe) and the despair of her boyfriend (Tom Stuart). The awkward uncertainty and harshness of tone the director affords these ‘outsiders’ is disappointingly reflected in the ‘insiders’. Given the afflicted back-stories of characters such as ex-alcoholic Sister Gertrude (Rita Tushingham) or ex-prostitute Sister Ambrose (Susannah Harker), you may expect a little whimsy or humour, but all are played dismayingly straight, with only Brenda Blethyn’s progressive Sister Ignatious allowed any air. The result is a confused portrait of an unorthodox initiation, built on such sand that its final castle of optimism and tolerance quickly crumbles.
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