The Rapture 1991

An auda­cious film about faith, The Rapture is a contem­porary fantasy that keeps its feet unnerv­ingly planted in reality even as reality starts to collapse. Mimi Rogers, in a strik­ingly accom­plished perform­ance, stars as Sharon, a tele­phone oper­ator who spends her off-hours enga­ging in casual group sex to blot out her boredom. By chance, she becomes aware of a small Chris­tian sect whose members believe that they have found a child with the gift of prophecy who has seen the upcoming end times.

Slowly but steadily, Sharon finds herself drawn to this group, and one night she abruptly turns a corner, renounces her old life, and embraces funda­ment­alism with passion. She marries one of her former lovers, Randy (David Duch­ovny), who takes up Sharon’s evan­gel­ical fervour to atone for his past as a hired killer, and they have a daughter. All seems peaceful until Randy is unex­pec­tedly murdered, and Sharon takes her child to the desert to await the rapture that will bring the chosen to heaven.

The film neither supports nor scoffs at Sharon’s views, and the superb perform­ances add immeas­ur­ably to a film that presents the unbe­liev­able (and unthink­able) at face value, making it seem oddly plaus­ible in the process. Michael Tolkin has also written and/or directed such films as The Player (1992), directed by Robert Altman, and The New Age (1994), both of which also skewer contem­porary Amer­ican society as shallow, mater­i­al­istic, and desperate for some­thing authentic to believe in

From Rotten Toma­toes

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