In Malta there is a family and church tradition for a younger sister to devote her life taking care of an older brother who has become a priest. In this story, inspired by true events, Carmen (Natascha McElhone) has followed this path from the age of 16. She is now 50, so when her brothers dies, she has no way to support herself or any idea of what to do.
Writer and director Valerie Buhagiar has created a very creative and jubilant movie about the spiritual practice of transformation. Carmen sneaks into the church to sleep and, when she hears people coming, hides in the confessional booth. Soon people are confessing to her, and she is dispensing advice. Her words may be unconventional, but they are happily accepted by the villagers. For example, when a boy asks why God allowed his mother to die, Carmen explains that sometimes God is very tired and he makes mistakes.
There are some magical moments in the story; Carmen seems to be led in new directions by following a pigeon! Her spiritual transformation is amplified when she meets Paulo (Steven Love), a handsome young antique dealer who introduces her to the joy of a romantic relationship. He also makes it possible for her to fulfil her yearning to ring the bell at her late brother’s church.
Natascha McElhone gives an enchanting performance as a 50-year-old woman who opens her heart, body, and mind to a new life. Her other outstanding performances have been in The Truman Show, Ronin, Mrs. Dalloway, and Solaris.