‘Cabrini’ Review: Embarking on a Pious Mission

by The Technical Blogs


“Cabrini,” a cluttered biopic of an Italian nun on a mission in 19th-century Manhattan, is directed by Alejandro Monteverde and produced by Angel Studios. You may recognize the names as the team behind “Sound of Freedom,” the 2023 conservative hit thriller.

Yet this new, pious tale, assembled around the ecumenical theme of perseverance, almost makes one nostalgic for the frisson of provocation. The gauzy goodness of this film is axiomatic, and its litany of sanctimonious speeches (“the world is too small for what I intend to do”) generally repels inquiry, let alone controversy.

The story begins as Francesca Cabrini (Cristiana Dell’Anna) and Catholic nuns from her order immigrate to New York to run an orphanage in Five Points, the Lower Manhattan neighborhood plagued by violence and adversity. She goes on to challenge various clergymen and politicians in her quest to save the youth and aid the downtrodden, namely, Italians. I should mention that the saintly striver is all the while giving support to a former prostitute, hoping to open a hospital and enduring a lung condition with a terminal prognosis.

It’s inspiring stuff, rendered stodgy and repetitive. The screenplay contains numerous scenes of Cabrini striding through opulent rooms as she goes head-to-head with bureaucratic white men; several sequences could have been scrapped in favor of more time spent with the rabble of orphans under her care. Among the multitude, only one suffering boy, bravely volunteering as a representative case, is accorded a name and a back story.

Rated PG-13 for some sinful material. Running time: 2 hours 25 minutes. In theaters.


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