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After suffering an inexplicable seizure which leaves her paralyzed on her right side,19-year-old illiterate kitchen maid Augustine (27 year-old singer-turned-actress Soko in a break out performance), is shipped off to Paris' all female psychiatric hospital Pitié-Salpêtriere which specializes in detecting the then-fashionable ailment of 'hysteria'. Augustine captures the attention of Dr. Charcot (Vincent Lindon, Mademoiselle Chambon, Welcome) after a seizure which appears to give her intense physical pleasure. Intrigued, he begins using her as his principal subject hypnotizing her… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 73%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"By the film's end, it's clear what Augustine is running from, but it's hard to grasp where she was in the first place."
‑ Tom Long, Detroit News
"Ultimately, while this character-based drama proves consistently engrossing, it leaves various pertinent and fascinating issues frustratingly unexplored."
‑ Godfrey Cheshire, Chicago Sun-Times
"Trading historical detail for atmospheric sensuality doesn't do this story justice."
‑ David Zuckerman, Film Comment Magazine
"Worthwhile but fairly routine "19th-century science" drama."
‑ Kelly Vance, East Bay Express
"Emotionally believable performances by Vincent Lindon and Soko can't save Augustine from meandering and being tediously stuck in its 1st act."
‑ Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru
"That the film raises interesting questions might be good enough, except that, while the movie goes about denying us information we want, it gives us details we don't need. "Augustine" churns slowly and doesn't make for compelling viewing."
‑ Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
"The psychosexual drama plays out beneath the surface -- the movie is so understated it sometimes feels inert."
‑ Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader
"Deconstructs late 19th century forms of torture, sexual exploitation and degradation, the female body as theater, closet peep shows, and the medical practitioner fantasy of 'a slave looking for a master' that all defined psychiatry back then."
‑ Prairie Miller, WBAI Radio
"Unlike some movies that impose feminist views on 200-year-old stories, "Augustine" finds feminist sentiments within the story rather than imposing them from without."
‑ Chris Hewitt (St. Paul), St. Paul Pioneer Press
"Hand-held camera gives contemporary realism amidst the historically correct costumes and surroundings. . .[but] feminist iconography . . .makes the phenomenon seem a charade."
‑ Nora Lee Mandel,
"French physician Jean-Martin Charcot hypnotized, photographed and exhibited a hysteric, as does French director Alice Winocour for a clinical love story and empowerment tale."
‑ Bill Stamets, Chicago Sun-Times
"Fiercely yet faithfully imagined by... Alice Winocur, [the film] is not exclusively a mystery. It's also part love story, part horror story, as well as a parable of gender, power and the enduring enigma that is the mind-body connection."
‑ Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post
"Augustine's best when it focuses on the push-pull relationship of doctor and patient. SoKo is excellent as the troubled girl, inspiring both compassion and frustration."
‑ Jamie S. Rich, Oregonian
"The stand out is French Pop star Soko as the title character, who gives an outstanding Oscar worthy performance!"
‑ Austin Kennedy, Film Geek Central
"[VIDEO ESSAY] Newcomer director Alice Winocour drafts an erotically charged and socially complex telling of a controversial 19th century neurologist and the nubile patient he treats."
‑ Cole Smithey,
More reviews for Augustine on Rotten Tomatoes