Mary Magdalene (2017 Film)
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Mary Magdalene 2017 Film
Mary Magdalene
Mary Magdalene (2018 film).png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byGarth Davis
Produced by
Written by
Music by
CinematographyGreig Fraser
Edited by
Distributed by
Release date
  • February 26, 2018 (2018-02-26) (National Gallery)
  • March 16, 2018 (2018-03-16) (United Kingdom)
  • March 22, 2018 (2018-03-22) (Australia)
  • April 12, 2019 (2019-04-12) (United States)
Running time
120 minutes[2][3]
  • United States[4]
  • United Kingdom[4]
  • Australia[4]
Box office$11.7 million[5]

Mary Magdalene is a 2018 biblical drama film about the woman of the same name, written by Helen Edmundson and Philippa Goslett and directed by Garth Davis. It stars Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Tahar Rahim.

The film had its world premiere at the National Gallery on February 26, 2018. It was released in the United Kingdom on March 16, 2018, by Universal Pictures, in Australia on March 22, 2018, by Transmission Films, and in the United States on April 12, 2019, by IFC Films. It is the last film score completed by composer Jóhann Jóhannsson before his death.


In the year 30 AD, when Judea was under the control of the Roman Empire, a woman named Mary from the small town of Magdala begins to follow Jesus of Nazareth. Her family and father try to interfere with her departing from her home but she sends them away. She accepts baptism from Jesus and accepts his charge for her and the other apostles to baptize in the name of the Father. She appears to be fully as one with the other apostles in asserting the authority of the spirit of Jesus working through her on behalf of the followers of Jesus

This causes conflict with the other male disciples, including Saint Peter. Mary follows Jesus all the way to the Crucifixion and Resurrection. In the end she is accepted by Peter as a faithful follower of Jesus. Peter accepts her report of the resurrection of Jesus and encourages the other apostles to also accept her message of the Resurrection and to proclaim it as part of the kerygma and good news proclaimed by Jesus as consistent with his ministry when he was alive. In the closing captions, Mary is first identified as having been called a common prostitute by the early church in the first millennium, while in the second millennium she has come to be accepted as one of the followers of Jesus who was among the twelve apostles and together with them.



In February 2016, Rooney Mara joined the cast of the film portraying the role of Mary Magdalene, with Garth Davis directing the film, Universal Pictures, Film4 Productions and See-Saw Films will co-produce the film, with Iain Canning and Emile Sherman serving as producers.[6] In April 2016, Joaquin Phoenix was in talks to portray the role of Jesus Christ.[7] In July 2016, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Tahar Rahim joined the cast of the film.[8][9] In September 2016, Hadas Yaron joined the cast of the film.[10]Hildur Guðnadóttir and Jóhann Jóhannsson composed the film's score, the latter's final score before his death in February 2018.[11][12]


Principal photography began on October 3, 2016[13][14] and concluded on December 2, 2016.[15] The film was shot in Rome and in multiple locations in Southern Italy including Matera in Basilicata, Gravina in Puglia in Apulia, Trapani in Sicily and Naples[16] in Campania.[17]


In February 2016, it was reported that The Weinstein Company would distribute the film.[18] It was originally scheduled to be released in the United States and Canada on November 24, 2017.[19] In August 2017, the release was pushed back to March 30, 2018.[20] In January 2018, it was pulled from the schedule.[21] In March 2018, it was announced The Weinstein Company would no longer distribute the film, and the producers were attempting to find another distributor to release the film.[22]IFC Films distributed the film in the United States on April 12, 2019.[23]

The film had its world premiere at the National Gallery on February 26, 2018.[24] It screened at the Audi Dublin International Film Festival on February 28, 2018.[25] It was released in the United Kingdom on March 16, 2018,[26] and in Australia on March 22, 2018.[27]


According to the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 45%, based on 105 reviews, with an average rating of 5.61/10. The site's critics consensus reads, "Mary Magdalene has obvious reverence for its subject; unfortunately, it lacks enough momentum or depth of character to make her story interesting."[28] At Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 48 out of 100, based on 24 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[29]

Nick Allen of gave Mary Magdalene 4 stars, calling it "an extraordinary film" and writing that it "moved me in a way that no previous film about Christianity ever has."[30]


Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref(s)
AACTA Awards 3 December 2018 Best Actress Rooney Mara Nominated [31]
Best Original Music Score Hildur Guðnadóttir, Jóhann Jóhannsson Nominated
Best Costume Design Jacqueline Durran Nominated
Asia Pacific Screen Awards 29 November 2018 Best Original Score Hildur Guðnadóttir, Jóhann Jóhannsson Won [32]


  1. ^ a b c d Dalton, Stephen (February 27, 2018). "'Mary Magdalene': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ "Mary Magdalene". Audi Dublin International Film Festival. Retrieved 2018.
  3. ^ "MARY MAGDALENE". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved February 9, 2018
  4. ^ a b c "Mary Magdalene (2018)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2018.
  5. ^ "Mary Magdalene (2018)". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved 2019.
  6. ^ Jaafar, Ali (February 2, 2016). "Rooney Mara In Discussions To Play Mary Magdalene In Biopic". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2016.
  7. ^ Jafaar, Ali (April 22, 2016). "Joaquin Phoenix Eyed To Play Jesus Christ In Mary Magdalene Pic". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2016.
  8. ^ Jaafar, Ali (July 13, 2016). "Chiwetel Ejiofor In Talks For 'Mary Magdalene'; Will Play Peter The Apostle". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2016.
  9. ^ Jaafar, Ali (July 22, 2016). "Tahar Rahim In Talks To Play Judas In 'Mary Magdalene'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2016.
  10. ^ Galuppo, Mia (September 13, 2016). "Israeli Actress Hadas Yaron Joins Weinstein Co.'s 'Mary Magdalene' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016.
  11. ^ "Jóhann Jóhannsson & Hildur Guðnadóttir to Score Garth Davis' Mary Magdalene". FilmMusicReporter. September 20, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  12. ^ Noone, Greg (September 18, 2017). "Inside the Dreamy Nightmare of Mother!'s Music-Free Soundscape". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2017.
  13. ^ "Mary Magdalene". My Entertainment World. Retrieved 2016.
  14. ^ Nattrass, JJ (November 21, 2016). "Joaquin Phoenix is bloody and bruised in his role as Jesus Christ while he and Rooney Mara film violent crucifixion scene for biblical biopic Mary Magdalene". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 2016.
  15. ^ Le Crayon Rouge (December 2, 2016). "Day 74 #theend #marymagdalene #wrapparty #naples". Instagram. Retrieved 2016.
  16. ^ "The film Mary Magdalene and the beauty of Southern Italy". November 9, 2016. Retrieved 2018.
  17. ^ Salomons, Jason (February 27, 2018). "'Mary Magdalene' Film Review: Rooney Mara Plays Christ's Galpal in Snoozy Epic". TheWrap. Retrieved 2018.
  18. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (February 9, 2016). "Weinstein Co. in Talks to Acquire Mary Magdalene Biopic". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016.
  19. ^ Hipes, Patrick (March 17, 2017). "'Mary Magdalene', 'Current War' & 'Wind River' Get 2017 Release Dates From Columbia". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2017.
  20. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (August 21, 2017). "'Mary Magdalene' Sets Easter Weekend Debut; 'The Current War' Moves To Late November". Deadline Hollywood.
  21. ^ Pederson, Erik (January 19, 2018). "Weinstein Company Pulls 'War With Grandpa', 'The Upside' & 'Mary Magdalene' Off Release Schedule". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2018.
  22. ^ Jolin, Dan (March 5, 2018). "Garth Davis on how the 'Mary Magdalene' team dealt with the Weinstein fall-out". Screen International. Retrieved 2018.
  23. ^ Vlessing, Etan (March 20, 2019). "IFC Films Takes U.S. Rights to Rooney Mara's 'Mary Magdalene' Biopic". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2019.
  24. ^ "Mary Magdalene (Special Screening)". What's on the Red Carpet. Retrieved 2018.
  25. ^ Kelly, Aoife (February 7, 2018). "Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix and Garth Davis coming to Ireland for Audi Dublin International Film Festival". Retrieved 2018.
  26. ^ Bamigboye, Baz (February 1, 2018). "Brilliant Rooney brings St Mary to life: Actress gives a passionate performance as Jesus Christ's follower in fascinating movie about her life". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 2018.
  27. ^ "Mary Magdalene". Transmission Films. Retrieved 2018.
  28. ^ "Mary Magdalene (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 2019.
  29. ^ "Mary Magdalene Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2019.
  30. ^ Allen, Nick. "Mary Magdalene Movie Review & Film Summary (2019) | Roger Ebert". Retrieved .
  31. ^ "Winners & Nominees - AACTA". Retrieved 2018.
  32. ^ "APSA 2018 Winners".

External links

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