Janet Maslin, NY Times:
This is a movie that really seems to have brought
out the best in everyone who worked on it. Chief among
them is Miss Burstyn... The whole cast of Resurrection
is outstanding. The playwright Sam Shepard,
who showed such promise in Days of Heaven,
realizes that promise here. As Edna's hot-tempered
lover, he brings a keen, nervous alertness to the role,
and a presumptuousness that turns very appealing.
Alan Jones, Radio Times:
Superb scripting, a terrific cast and Daniel Petrie's
heartfelt direction make this rural tale of faith and
spirituality a rewarding experience.
Strong performances, particularly from Burstyn and
Playwright Sam Shepard plays the son of a
religious zealot with the same dark intensity he
displayed in Days of Heaven. At the heart of the
film is Burstyn - she is intelligent, compassionate and,
when necessary, humorous.
critic Pauline Kael:
Lewis John Carlino was commissioned to write the script
for Burstyn, and he shaped it to her; she bestrides the
movie, glowing with love and wholesome humor. The
director, Daniel Petrie, does some very polished, fluid
work, but you're always aware of the planning and
calculation. Mysticism doesn't come easy to him.
Carlino's script, which attempts to combine holistic
healing and feminism, is an amazing fusion of old corn
and modern cant. With Sam Shepard, who brings the
film some sexy tension as a hell-raising kid whom
Burstyn heals after he has been stabbed in a drunken
It’s a moving and unusual story about a woman who has a
near-death experience, then discovers that she has
unexplainable healing powers. I’ve always loved this
film, and as I learned when I interviewed Burstyn not
long ago, she is also quite fond of it.
Matt Mazur, Pop Matters:
Though it might seem that sexuality would be out of
place in a film about deep spirituality, death, and the
great beyond, Burstyn has talked about how it was of the
utmost importance that both the spiritual side and the
sexual side of her character be showcased, she wanted
those facets of the character to be intertwined. She
purposely chose young playwright Sam Shepard to
play Cal, for many reasons women get cast in the
traditional “wife” or “girlfriend” roles – for their
good looks – though Shepard’s character is far more
nuanced and interesting than just a mere supporting love
interest, as he will be a key part of Edna’s undoing.
Film critic Emmanuel Levy:
Like the 1979 Norma Rae, Resurrection
stresses that Edna is an ordinary, uneducated woman who
becomes extraordinary through her magical powers. The
incoherent narrative tries to fuse new, feminist ideas
with older and sentimental conventions about the healing
power of Love. Edna’s qualities of inner-strength and
self-reliance are associated with values of small-town
and country folks.
The care and concern of these creative individuals is
evident in every frame of the movie. They have done
extensive research on psychic healing and the
controversies which surround it. Thanks to a stirring
and remarkable performance by Ellen Burstyn,
Resurrection lingers in the mind and heart long
after the closing credits.
Resurrection, an unusual supernatural drama about a
faith healer, gives Ellen Burstyn a shot at a
tour-de-force performance, but never comes into strong
enough focus dramatically or philosophically.