Religious faith is hardly a topic foreign to the movie musical genre, but we tend to think of the very elaborate productions circa the 1960s and 70s; namely, Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell. This story, instead, is almost entirely stripped down: Non-professional actors take key roles, and the setting is almost entirely limited to barren landscapes.
Director Bruno Dumont’s career is full of weird, often perplexing choices (if you think this movie is strange, check out his 2016 Slack Bay) that somehow, in moments, seem mystifyingly inspired. I think that’s the lens through which we’re meant to interpret this film’s interpretation of a head-banging Joan of Arc: Her life might well have seemed as strange and baffling to herself and those around her as the movie frequently is to us. A 2019 sequel caught up with a slightly older Joan, but skipped the music entirely and was, perhaps not incidentally, much less well-received.
Where to stream: Tubi (or rental on other services)