Synopsis: Set in the early 1960s and during the era of Vatican II, a young woman in training to become a nun struggles with issues of faith, the changing church and sexuality.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Maggie Betts
Production: Maven Pictures
  3 wins & 14 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
123 min


So many people settle for

love that doesn't really ask

anything of them, that they don't have

to make any sacrifices for.

I don't want that.

I want an ideal love

that I have to give everything to.

Where are you?

Where are you?

Why are you doing this?

In the name of the father...

Benedicamus domino

benedicamus domino

dear Christ.

I was 17 years old

when I came to the convent,

18 when I entered the novitiate.

I know a lot of people

could probably never understand...

Never understand how someone so young

with their entire life ahead of them

would want to give it all away to god.

They think of nuns today,

and they see a bunch of old women.

Women who couldn't find husbands,

or for some reason,

just couldn't make it

in the outside world.

So they ran off to a monastery

to escape everything.

What they don't understand

is that beneath everything else...

We were women in love.

You're all I could ever want.

You ready for this?

Okay, you can come right out this way.

Ls my hair all right?

Good morning, father.

Nora Harris? I can't believe it.

Ls it you?

Hey, rob, it sure is. How you been?

I've been good. I've been real good.

Now, wait a minute. Now don't tell me.

Ls this cathleen?

It sure is. Can you believe it?

Look how big she got.

My goodness. Hey, pretty lady.

How are you?

You know, you're not allowed

to grow up that fast.

Soon, you'll be taller than me.

I gotta say, Nora, I'm a little

surprised to see you here.

I've known you all my life,

and I don't think I've ever seen you

within 500 yards of a Sunday service.

Yeah, well, don't get your hopes up.

I'm not here to be saved

or nothing like that.

I just thought it about time

that cathleen learned

what religion was about.

- Or supposed to be about, you know.

- Yeah.

Plus, we were a little bored,

weren't we?

Well, hey, that's all right with me.

I'm just glad you're here.

- Let's get y'all a good seat.

- All right.

Come on in. Right there's two,

right up front there.

Blessed be god the father.

Because although you have

not seen him, you still love him.

Although you do not know him,

you still believe in him.

You feel his presence all around

without knowing his name,

and you rejoice

with an indescribable ecstasy.

Because if there's one thing we know,

it's that god's love is unconditional.

Put your napkin in your lap.

Thank you.

Did you like going to that church today?

Yeah, I did.


What'd you like about it the most?

I don't know.

I guess I just thought it was peaceful.

"Peaceful," huh?

Yeah, I guess it was kind of peaceful.

What kind of church was it, again?

That was a catholic church.

Are we catholic?

No, we're not anything.

I don't really believe

in religion, actually.

I think it's kind of a waste of time.

But when you're older,

you can decide for yourself.


Looks like daddy's home.

Hey, hey, hey, baby.

How's daddy's little girl? Huh?

What'd you do today?

Did you have a good day today?

Daddy, where were you?

We've been waiting for you for so long.

Yeah, it's a valid question, Chuck.

Where you been?

I was out. That's all.

Okay. 'Cause we've been

sitting here all day, waiting on you.

You never heard of a phone or...

Come on, Nora, please.

Of course I've heard of a phone.

Well, that's good.

You've heard of a phone. That's nice.

What do you want me to say, Nora?

Is there anything in particular

that you'd like to hear me say?

I don't know, Chuck.

Maybe I'd just like you to be a man

every once in a while, you know?

Be a fucking father for a change,

maybe learn to sacrifice a little bit.

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Maggie Betts

Margaret Betts (born New York City) is an American filmmaker. Her debut feature Novitiate was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and received a Jury Award for her direction. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Novitiate" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 16 Jan. 2021. <>.

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