The Letters | Salt Lake City Weekly
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  Rated PG · 119 minutes · 2015

Biography, Historical drama
The premise teased by the title—that Mother Teresa of Calcutta’s correspondence with her spiritual advisor suggested a crisis of faith lasting nearly the entirety of her ministry with the poor of India’s slums—could have made for a fascinating movie about a woman who was considered a saint even while she still lived. But writer/director William Riead’s biopic—framed as the story of the Vatican investigator (Rutger Hauer) looking into the candidacy of Teresa (Juliet Stevenson) for actual sainthood in 1998—instead becomes a predictable, sluggish piece of hagiography. The token conflict mainly deals with Teresa occasionally butting up against a nun who discouraged her from leaving her cloistered order to work in the streets, and persuading skeptical local Indians that she wasn’t out to convert the Hindus with whom she worked to Christianity. But there’s virtually nothing in the story or in Stevenson’s performance that addresses this despair that everyone in the 1990s-set scenes keep talking about. Teresa is simply portrayed as a dedicated servant of God, while whatever internal struggle she dealt with remains told, not shown.


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Director: William Riead
Producer: William Riead, Lisa Riead, Tony Cordeaux, Corky Barton and Lourden Saks
Cast: Juliet Stevenson, Max von Sydow, Rutger Hauer, Priya Darshini, Kranti Redkar, Aapo Pukk, Kaizaad Kotwal, Tillotama Shome and Mark Bennington

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