Saint Maud | Crooked Media
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March 12, 2024
Ruined with Alison Leiby and Halle Kiefer
Saint Maud

In This Episode

Halle and Alison wonder if a cockroach is god while they ruin Saint Maud.






[theme music]: If scary movies give you dread. Keep you up late night in bed, here’s a podcast that will help you ease your mind. We’ll explain the plot real nicely then we’ll talk about what’s frightening, so you never have to have a spooky time. It’s Ruined.


Halle Kiefer: Hello. Welcome to Ruined. I’m Halle. 


Alison Leiby: And I’m Alison. 


Halle Kiefer: And this is a podcast where we ruin a horror movie just for you. 


Alison Leiby: Just for you. 


Halle Kiefer: How are you doing? 


Alison Leiby: I’m good. I made a life change. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh. 


Alison Leiby: I joined a co-working space. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh okay. 


Alison Leiby: Have I talked to you about this? 


Halle Kiefer: No, well I think you were going to, but how are you liking it? 


Alison Leiby: I, I honestly like it’s it’s been so helpful to my productivity. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh good. 


Alison Leiby: That I’m, like, genuinely mad at myself for not having done this before because I’m like, where would I be on certain projects if I had been. 


Halle Kiefer: Absolutely. 


Alison Leiby: Carving out, dedicated, I am not a coffee shop writer and having a TV and a fridge and Rizz in my home. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Makes it very hard to get like serious writing work done here. I’m loving it. The only thing I wish is that, everybody would have to, like, be like, here’s what I do for work. I this is what I do. That’s why I’m here. Because, like, I’m just like, dying to everybody’s got kind of different computer setups that they bring and like come for different periods of time. And I’m just like, oh, can’t we all just tell each other what we’re up to? 


Halle Kiefer: See this is how WeWork is invented because like, that’s. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Basically coworking but like you do have that little communal space, you get cold brew. And I’m assuming that you’d be like, so what do you do? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. And the other thing is they have coffee, but only they have hot coffee and tea. There is no iced coffee. And as a year-round iced coffee drinker. 


Halle Kiefer: Same. 


Alison Leiby: I’m just like, when will it get the the same respect that hot coffee does and the same availability and access? That’s what I really need. It’s really been amazing and I’ve gotten so much done. 


Halle Kiefer: I’m so glad. 


Alison Leiby: I’m like plowing through my book, which has been really a long struggle to get done. So. 


Halle Kiefer: I’m so glad. 


Alison Leiby: I’m feeling great. So if you’re somebody out there debating joining a co-working space and you can afford it, I highly suggest doing it. Just do it. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. I also feel like sinking money into it might be motivating, you know what I mean. 


Alison Leiby: It’s the same. It’s like kind of like the gym membership thing of like. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: I’m already paying for it also. So one opened up like six months ago two blocks from my apartment. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh yeah. 


Alison Leiby: And so it’s like I just go for like 2.5 hours a day of like dedicated, like just get on and write for two hours and like, then if you do nothing else for the rest of the day, like you’ve accomplished more than you did the last six months. 


Halle Kiefer: Absolutely. Yeah. Spend eight hours, kicking your own ass about not writing. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. I just like, kind of like half watching TV, half Windex-ing and and then, like, writing one sentence that you end up deleting. 


Halle Kiefer: Ah yes. 


Alison Leiby: Writing. How are you? 


Halle Kiefer: I’m also writing. It’s going. Okay. I don’t I wish I had something more exciting. I’m sorry.


Alison Leiby: I, you know, I it’s it’s a doldrums time of year. There’s not a ton happening. 


Halle Kiefer: And. Oh, I did want to say, did you see the, Kristen Stewart Rolling Stone cover? 


Alison Leiby: I did. 


Halle Kiefer: America needed it.


Alison Leiby: She’s so hot, I it’s just. 


Halle Kiefer: So hot. And it is. I feel like, you see those like conservative’s freaking out. It’s like, well, one of the arguments is  like, oh, like, oh, can you believe Kristen Stewart used to be so hot? Now she looks like this is like, anyone can see she’s still hot. Like. 


Alison Leiby: She’s still very hot, arguably hotter now that she’s ever been. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: And there is something too where it’s like the just like the existence of any kind of queer beauty makes them. So it’s like they want it. They only want. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Because they want to control you and and they want. And they would say they want access to your queer beauty, but also force you to be traditionally feminine in this case. And also, I don’t know, it’s like living in L.A. it’s like, hasn’t? Hasn’t every queer person been at a bar and been like, is that a lesbian or a gay guy? Don’t, don’t are we get that place where it’s like, how dare she have a mullet? And where it’s like, yeah, she dare. Like it’s 2024. Like it’s not going to work. You’re not going to convince people she’s not hot. And that’s frankly the the what we have. 


Alison Leiby: You can’t. 


Halle Kiefer: You can’t pretend that these people aren’t hot. You could say what you want to do, but normal people could use their own eyes, and be like. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, be like that is hot. I’m looking at someone who is hot. 




Halle Kiefer: Our movie this week is of course, March Madness. 


Alison Leiby: March Madness. 


Halle Kiefer: And this movie is. I honest to God forgot. I couldn’t believe we hadn’t done this movie, but I also we just recorded Don’t Look Now. And I also couldn’t believe we hadn’t done that. So this is. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. My dad keeps being like, how are you guys going to keep doing this podcast? Are you going to run out of movies? I was like, we haven’t done like a lot of movie like there, you couldn’t? 


Halle Kiefer: There is no. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. There is no end to the material that this podcast, has access to. So I feel like it’s just so funny. He’s like, aren’t there, didn’t you do them all? I’m like, no. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: I was thinking like, this podcast will only end when one of us has such a extreme life change that we won’t be able to do it. Like—


Alison Leiby: That’s the only way. Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: And I want that to happen in a good way. I don’t want like, one of us meets their untimely demise, but rather like. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: You know what I mean? Like you end up on off Broadway. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: I get I meet my demise, you know, like, there are a lot of different options that we could be revisiting. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: But that movie is, Saint Maud. It is a 2019. Now, this is something where it’s like, this is it is a psychological, program. But it is definitely not a thriller. This is a horror movie. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, no, I got that. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Okay. It was written, directed. It was the feature directorial debut of Rose Glass. Who? Her new, lesbian movie or I guess queer movie. I don’t know if they’re lesbians. Love Lies Bleeding premiered at Sundance and got all this buzz because it is, Kristen Stewart in a love affair with this bodybuilder. 


Alison Leiby: Oh okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Played by Katy O’Brian. And so that was sort of promoting that while that was sort of in the ether. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, okay. I was wondering why she was on the cover of Rolling Stone. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: So, that makes sense. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: I mean, aside from, like, she looks great. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, just checking in. She looks really great. 


Alison Leiby: Honestly, give her one a year.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Fine with me. Yes. It’s coming out. Let’s see. That movie’s coming out. Is A24. It’s coming out March 8th, so. 


Alison Leiby: Nice. 


Halle Kiefer: But if if Love Lies Bleeding is anywhere as good as Saint Maud, we’re all we should all run out and get it. Shout out to Rose Glass. Because I love Saint Maud. I think this is a phenomenal film. 


Alison Leiby: Great. 


Halle Kiefer: We always like to take, we always like to have Alison watch the trailer. Alison, what are your thoughts after watching the Saint Maud trailer? 


Alison Leiby: Mm mm. This is this also very much goes in my bucket of, religion is scary and always will be. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, because it. That’s. Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Compel somebody to do the things that the character in this movie is doing. I will say like the most there’s a lot of like chilling moments, but like her putting the needles in the image of a Virgin Mary maybe. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: And then putting it in her shoe to walk around. I mean, I know that’s like connected to a thing in Catholicism, I assume. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Of, like, self-flagellation, but like. When she puts her foot like, I don’t want to step on a Lego like, let alone like—


Halle Kiefer: The foot as like, yes. 


Alison Leiby: It’s just like, Rizz has a bunch of toys, obviously. And some of them have, like a little plastic piece on them. And like, every once in a while, like, I’ll like, step on one of those and I’m like, oh my God, I should lie down. Like the idea of like, like choosing to to harm yourself in that way with such a violent looking device is that really stopped me in my tracks. 


Halle Kiefer: I’m so glad that you felt that way, because this movie is full of those kinds of images. 


Alison Leiby: Cool. 


Halle Kiefer: We always like to take a, baseline. Scary. Alison, how scary do you find the concept of Catholicism? 


Alison Leiby: Very. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Very. It is like. Well, I think it’s also like. The most beautiful religion in terms of just like I love gold too. 


Halle Kiefer: Right. 


Alison Leiby: Like, you know, it’s like gold and red and like there’s a richness to Catholicism that is like, you know, I studied so much of it as an English major and like so much of the work that we like, talked about when I was a college student. And like, I do love all the lore, but like I do find the the pain and affliction element and the like, the deprivation element of Catholicism, and the burning in hell for eternity stuff. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: To just be really fucking awful. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, it’s it’s something where I think, I don’t know, I think of like 80s, 80s and 90s stuff. I feel like there was more conversation about Catholicism, and now it’s like. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Well, we have like, evangelicals and like Mormons, like, there is more of, like a Christian pantheon. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of similarities between all these religions, which is, of course, punishment restriction, conformity, normalcy, purity, and of course, what happens when, any of those things, are, are stumbled upon by someone who genuinely believes they’re true. That’s the thing is, like. 


Alison Leiby: That’s tough. 


Halle Kiefer: We just hope that someone like the people who genuinely believe, like all of Catholicism is true. That’s tough. You know, as someone who was raised Catholic, you got to give yourself a little bit room. Not to, you know, some stuff you got to let slide or else you’re gonna go completely insane. Which, of course, is what this movie is about. But, yeah, I think that this, this movie really felt like an indictment of Catholicism, but more specifically an indictment of any, restrictive, like thought process that forces you to, like, remove impurity to, to to treat the self or to treat life as something other than just going about your day. Going to the store, you know, it’s like, oh, everything has to be an indictment. Everything has to be about they’re being punished if you do it wrong. And, we’ll, we’ll get into it because, there’s plenty of that in this film. Would you like to guess the twist in Saint Maud before we get started? Alison. 


[voice over]: Guess the twist. 


Alison Leiby: I’m going to guess that. Maybe the woman she’s taking care of. Like, I can’t quite square what’s happening from the trailer, but it seems like she’s taking care of a woman who maybe is her mother. Or maybe is just a lady. I’m going to guess that. She thought she was Catholic all along, but finds out that she is not. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay, great. 


Alison Leiby: And, like, all of this has been misdirected. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay. Fabulous. Let us get started ruining Saint Maud. We open on. Of course it’s Maud. She is wearing nursing scrubs. She is crouched in the corner of a darkened hospital room. His or her arms and face are smeared with blood. And as we follow her, sort of like shaken gaze, we see a dead, bloody body on a gurney, and the body’s long hair is matted and dripping blood onto the floor. And in this moment of true horror, Maud looks up and into the corner of the ceiling, ambles a cockroach, you know, and we see Maud look at it. And from the jump Maud staring at like, of course she’s seeing God. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: We then cut to the surface of a, a pot of tomato soup bubbling, and I’m. I’m like, that’s I just love, a director who really enjoys directing. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Like to just choose, like, it’s like you’re going to get it. Like I’m introducing, like a viscous red fluid, but it’s domestic and but I’m still conjuring blood. It’s just. It was so good. We see Maud living in her very grim dump of a one bedroom studio apartment. So she’s got a little bed, a little table with two chairs and a kitchenette. And of course, on one end on her dresser. She has like a full Catholic, shrine. So we got rosaries, we got crosses, we got saint cards. 


Alison Leiby: All the ladies. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. And she sits down to pray before she eats, and she says. Ask to God. We hear her in voice over. So talking to God throughout the film to please help her, please help me at my next posting. Even though my stomach hurts and I’m on my period. But if you could just show me what I’m supposed to be doing, and she says. 


[clip of Morfydd Clark]: Forgive me my impatience, but I hope you will reveal your plan for me soon. I can’t shake the feeling that you must have saved me for something greater than this. Not that I’m complaining or anything.


Halle Kiefer: And we see Maud, she is in a small English seaside town. And she trundles her little rolling suitcase down the main thoroughfare, past like a big arcade. This is Coney Island. There’s like a little miniature Coney Island. There’s like a Ferris wheel and like a strip of, like, restaurants and bars that clearly, like, in this town, this is the. This is the place. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Everything’s going on here. We see her mount. What must be a hundreds of steps to this gorgeous old house on a bluff overlooking the beach. And mud, gets the door and the current nurse is leaving, and she can’t wait to get out of there. 


Alison Leiby: Oh boy. Bad sign. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And Maud is a hospice nurse for a woman named Amanda. And we see the exit nurse, exiting nurse gives her the rundown. Like, Amanda is on a regimen of shots, so you will have to give her a shot every day for 12 days. Her friend is coming over tomorrow. Like, you don’t have to worry about it, but, like, she will kind of, like, get loose. And third of all, try to keep her off the sauce because Amanda has been drinking through it. But also, it’s like you’re in hospice. I’m just like, you know, I get it. Like, come. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Just let her. Let her do what she needs to do. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And Maud, how is she? And the other nurse pauses and says a bit of a c-nt and then basically runs out with her rolling suitcase. 


Alison Leiby: I love that. 


Halle Kiefer: So basically, Maud is going to be, living with this woman. So she does. She kept her one bedroom. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: But then she lives in the house because she’s 24/7. And, I don’t know, I could be like, is this a British thing where she’s not just a care, a nurse, she’s not just a nurse. She’s also preparing food. You know what I mean, she’s doing like. 


Alison Leiby: So it’s like a full caretaker. 


Halle Kiefer: A full caretaker. 


Alison Leiby: I don’t think that’s just. I think that there are people who who do that. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And I think, Amanda, we found out, is rich. So I think we’re to think, like, okay, you’re you’re calling us for service where it’s like, yeah, she is on call. She does, like, physical therapy with Amanda. She bathes her. You know, she’s more of a 24 hour type of gal. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And we see, Maud put up a crucifix in her room where she sleeps before going to see Amanda. We find out she’s Amanda Cole. She’s 49 years old, and she has stage for a lymphoma of the spinal cord. And as Maud tells God in her voiceover, I daresay you’ll be seeing this one soon. We see Maud cooking and doing shopping for Amanda, and brings Amanda her pills, and we hear Maud tell God I looked her up. I she’s a choreographer, a little bit of a minor celebrity in her day, and I have so little patience for artistic types. She brings Amanda her shot and Amanda is clearly in perma bitch mode. And that’s both to imply that like, that’s her personality. And also who wouldn’t be? 


Alison Leiby: I mean, and I will be an asshole at the end of my life if I’m aware that it’s happening. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. So she’s like sighing and rolling, rolling her eyes. And she’s constantly smoking and she always has like a silk turban around her head. Like she always looks great. 


Alison Leiby: Yes, yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And is clearly enjoying herself. And lives in this gorgeous house, that, like the implication that she grew up there. And now has come back, like, you know, for these last months. And that night, we see Maud get in her bed and curl up into the fetal position. The next day, we see Amanda. She helps Amanda do her stretches, and she’s sort of like it has Amanda’s leg over her shoulder, then leans towards Amanda. When they’re face to face Maud’s, Saint necklace slips out of her shirt and kind of dangles in Amanda’s face, and Amanda taps and says, who’s your saint? And Maud tells her it’s Mary Magdalene. She’s like, I didn’t know they made her a Saint metal. She’s like, well, I ordered it online. And Amanda looks a man says, you’re prettier than the last girl. Of course, Maud is like, I don’t I don’t believe in that, but thank you. You know, already sort of be like, well, someone’s being nice to me. I don’t hate this. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Later. She’s looking through Amanda’s house. We have. She is like. Amanda’s written dance books. The anatomy of dance. The body is a stage. She also finds, like, poster framed posters of, like, her dance shows, and, like, a photo of her, a drawing of what is obviously Amanda like, on her back, her blond hair spilling down, sort of like this. This incredible, glamorous, metropolitan life this woman had. And now they’re meeting here, in this town at the end of, Amanda’s life. And that night, Amanda has Maud help her put on a wig and get all dolled up for her friend to come over. And Maud gets out of the house and goes into town, and we see her give change to a man who is credited as homeless Pat, who is asking for money outside the arcade, and she gives him money. And then she says, May God keep you and never waste your pain. And then she storms away and he kind of laughs. He’s like, thank you for the change. But like every interaction is like that. She can’t have like a normal interaction. It has to be mediated through religion and through the concept of like what gods would approve of right. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Later she’s eating French fries in this like dinky little mirrored cafe and she says to God, how could somebody, how could someone like Amanda end up in this podunk town? She must hate it more than I do. So she’s already, like, forming this relationship with Amanda in her head, right? She gets a call, and unfortunately, she finds out that Amanda is wasted. And her friend Richard called to be like, hey, I’m headed out. I just want to make sure that you’re checking on her, because I think that she’s gonna fucking barf, you know? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And Richard tells Amanda, like, honestly, honey, you should maybe, like, pull back a little bit. Things are getting a little Norma Desmond around here, and we just, like, get out of my house. And of course, vomits as Maud tries to go help her. She puts Amanda to bed and gets her toast and water and scrubs the, carpet. While Amanda talks about sort of her youth with Richard, she’s like, oh, Richard would always try to fuck me when I was young, you know? But we’re still friends. And Amanda asks Maud to stay with her to her room and starts asking about Maud’s life, which of course, nobody does because Maud doesn’t talk to anyone or seemingly have any friends. And she tells Amanda that she used to work at [?] hospital before this gig, and she has been a private carer for around a year. And she says, well, you know, I was interested in this and this is what God wanted when he came to me. Then everything changed. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And Amanda’s already like, uh huh, she says, well, does he talk to you? 


[clip of Morfydd Clark]: Most of the time it it’s just like he’s physically in me or around me. It’s like a shiver. Sometimes it’s like a pulsing. 


Halle Kiefer: But sometimes I do hear his voice and Amanda starts opening up and says, you know, since I moved back here, I keep imagining like the last moment because, like, what’s that one we’re going to be? And then what happens after that? 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: And Maud, of course, she’s like, my time to shine. 


Alison Leiby: Like, oh, this is what I know. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. She’s whispers to Amanda’s, you’re like, there is more. And it’s not just after. He’s always here now and he will never let you fall. And Amanda smiles and she takes Maud’s hand, she’s making fun of her, but she does say like a nice. She’s like, you’re my little savior. And Maud goes to bed. And when she goes in the hall, she sees the lights flicker. And as she goes to climb the stairs to her room, she smiles. And then she’s clearly experiencing God, which is very in the style of, say, the ecstasy of Saint Theresa. Like she’s having an orgasm. 


Alison Leiby: Okay? 


Halle Kiefer: So she’s like, groaning and running her hands along the wall. She grabs her chest and her head rears back in ecstasy, and she falls to the floor of the landing and her mouth opens wide and she gasps. And then I don’t know exactly if this means she has to punish herself, but we see her go in a room and sprinkle like they are either seeds or beans onto the carpet and kneel on them to pray to the to the crucifix. 


Alison Leiby: Ugh. 


Halle Kiefer: So she has to be harming herself. Why? While she prays, of course. And she tells God I figured it out. Thank you so much for putting me on this mission. Caring for the decrepit has its dignity, of course, but saving someone’s soul is so much more important. She’s going to save Amanda’s soul. Alison. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. We’ll see.


Halle Kiefer: We see her dump out all of Amanda’s booze, and I’m like, that’s not going to go over well. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, I wouldn’t I wouldn’t stand between someone in that. That’s. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Just me. 


Halle Kiefer: And unfortunately, this is the thing about religion is like, you can practice your religion, but that’s not what religious people want to do. They want to practice it on us. 


Alison Leiby: Exactly. 


Halle Kiefer: They want to practice their religion on other people. So now she’s practicing it on Amanda. Whether or not Amanda has any interest in it at all at the sink, she’s she’s doing dishes and she goes through the ecstasy again and gasps as she does, a woman knocks on the door. She’s already mad that there’s somebody there. And it’s. She’s especially mad that it’s a woman, right? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And this is woman Carol. Gorgeous kind of dykey looking woman. And it’s like, oh, I’m here to see Amanda. And she’s like, Amanda’s not, it’s really late. Amanda’s not expecting guests. It’s like I we talked, we talked online. She knows I’m coming. Don’t worry about it. Maud is furious, but let her in. And we see, in the bathroom. Maud’s nose starts bleeding and she could hear Carol and Amanda laughing in the other room. In the morning, while counting out Amanda’s pills, she sees Carol leaving, and she’s counting like a fistful of money. Maud makes soup and Amanda calls Maud in, like, let’s have lunch together. And for she eats mud. Starts to pray and Amanda. Amanda pauses the TV and prays with her and Maud says, bless Amanda’s body, which has done many wonderful things, and bless her mind, which is shrouded in darkness right now. And we see Maud again go into sort of her ecstasy and she starts gasping and shuddering and Amanda. Amanda says, oh, is she here? And Maud, Maud nods, and suddenly Amanda smiles and she nods. She says, I feel it, I feel it too. And they sort of both lean back and they are breathing heavily. And we see, like in Maud’s mind, the memory of her doing physical therapy on Amanda, like touching Amanda’s body. And while they’re sitting there, Amanda reaches over and touches Maud’s hand and she gasps. 


Alison Leiby: Yes, of course.


Halle Kiefer: And again, she would never let herself have an actual orgasm, much like the ecstasy of, say, Theresa, this is this. She is taking this manifestation of a physical and mental release as evidence of God. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Now, if you would let yourself again enjoy any of this, you know, maybe you’d understand differently, but. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: God’s in the room, Alison. That night, she helps Amanda get her wig on again. And, Amanda gives Maud a book of William Blake poetry and signs it to my savior, to Maud to my savior. Love from Amanda. So, of course, Maud is over the moon. She loves that she got a gift. And, she reads in the kitchen. When we see Carol come in again. And Carol comes down, from Amanda’s room. She’s wearing a robe they’re obviously. She’s obviously here down to clown, here to have a good time. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And she’s getting a bottle of cold champagne for both of them. And Maud is so fucking mad that this woman is there at her house. And what has she has decided is her house. Because Carol is obviously busting up this platonic lesbian love affair that she is carrying on. 


Alison Leiby: Yes of course. 


Halle Kiefer: In her mind that she’ll never let herself indulge in. And Carol’s like, why do you look so mad? Who cares? You know, I’m just here to have a good time. And she pops the bottle and champagne pours out, of course. Maud has to get down and clean it up. Carol’s like, don’t worry about it. I’ll get. You don’t have to do that. And they’re sort of cleaning up the champagne, and we hear Amanda call to Carol, honey, come back to me. And so, of course, Carol goes back to Amanda and we see Maud reading the William Blake book, just getting more and more angry. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, Maud. 


Halle Kiefer: And we hear her, reading, the book and voice voiceover, she says religious themes played a prominent role in Blake’s career, namely organized religion, which he said was a distortion of a true spiritual life. Later, when Maud goes up to bed, the door to Amanda’s room is open a crack, and so she starts spying on Amanda and Carol. And they’re like drinking. They’re both like, this is like what? Like a fantasy of, like, an adult lesbian sexual encounter is. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Which is you’re both wearing, like, a a, like, $800 silk robe. 


Alison Leiby: I mean. 


Halle Kiefer: You both look incredible. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Right. You’re drinking champagne. It is sort of just like in reality, you’re just watching TV. But like this, the you hope when you’re dying, you get to have this kind of moment. 


Alison Leiby: This is the kind of fantasy, fantastical version of like. All of it. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And so, of course, not as furiously jealous. And we see Amanda and Carol kiss while they’re drinking. And then Carole gets up and starts dancing for Amanda. Because Amanda, the implication is that Amanda is losing mobility pretty quickly. So we see her, like sitting up. But I think we’re dancing is— 


Alison Leiby: That’s probably the extent of. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: What she’s able to do.


Halle Kiefer: Almost like she was a dancer. So I think that’s part of it is like Carol dancing for her. But of course, as Maud watches, like we see Amanda’s face fall and she’s like pulls her robe over because she is dying, so she’s gotta be  uncomfortable. 


Alison Leiby: Of course. 


Halle Kiefer: In the morning when Carol goes to leave, Maud corners her and says, I don’t think you should see Amanda anymore. She has big things going on, and she needs to focus, and I don’t think you can fit into that anymore. Carol—


Alison Leiby: I don’t want to do any big things at the end of my life. 


Halle Kiefer: Right? It’s like it’s just—


Alison Leiby: It’s just going to be small, fun things until I’m gone. 


Halle Kiefer: Right. It’s like don’t you want to have sex with some lady you met online? Isn’t that like, isn’t that the best case scenario? 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And Carol says, really, like, I don’t think your patient’s sex life is any of your business. And Maud says. I know you said she gives you money when you come over. And Carol says again, that is none of your business. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And Maud tells her, I see how you look at her. Is this a joke to you? Do you think you’re too good for her? She is vulnerable. This is a life and death time for her. This is not time to get worked up about some silly girl who doesn’t care about her and Carol’s like I do care about her and Maud says, not enough. Not as much as me, of course. So Carol goes to leave and Maud says, where are you going? Carol says, I’m leaving. I’m not going to argue with her. And Maud says, and it’s like man Maud, you don’t understand, how this works. Maud says, okay, well don’t don’t tell her I said any of this to you. You know, make something up. Carol, who’s obviously furious and is obviously going to tell Amanda—


Alison Leiby: The first chance she gets. 


Halle Kiefer: Is going to text her as soon as she’s out the door and—


Alison Leiby: And be like, that crazy gal that you’ve got living in your house and taking care of you is a real bitch. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, she says whatever you say, Maud. And she leaves and Maud smiles and we hear her telling, God, I think that went well. Alison, I’m gonna ask you this. And you can answer for whatever character you want. Alison, at this point in the movie, what would you do? 


[voice over]: What would you do. 


Alison Leiby: From the other gal? I’m texting Amanda. 


Halle Kiefer: Mm hmm. 


Alison Leiby: Immediately. And being like I don’t know. You should fire her but also. Do you. If I’m Amanda and then find out that this is Maud’s kind of vibe. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: I might. Find somebody else to be in my home during this phase of my life. 


Halle Kiefer: I think so. 


Alison Leiby: And if I’m Maud, I think there is no shaking her from thinking that she is doing what is right and this is important work for her and she must stay. If I am me though, I’m like I’m in over my head here and I’m going to go back to my studio apartment and maybe figure out a new path. 


Halle Kiefer: Absolutely. 




Halle Kiefer: Maud of course, is going to double down. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: We see her bring in a bottle of, ostensibly holy water. She makes crosses on the wall with it, and Maud is very pleased that she thinks that her, Carol plan worked because we hear her say one whole day and her phone hasn’t rung yet, so it’s like, oh, great, you’ve successfully isolated a dying woman from somebody who—


Alison Leiby: Who brought her joy. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And we see. But we see Maud bathing. Amanda. They are laughing like they’re clearly like having a friendship. And Maud says, oh, God, he she reminds me of myself in the first flushes of your love. We don’t need anyone else. You know, again, she’s being very controlling. 


Alison Leiby: Amanda says that to Maud or Maud says that to—


Halle Kiefer: Maud says that to God. 


Alison Leiby: To. Oh, okay. God. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. That night we see Maud walking along the beach near the main strip and a woman calls to her and, says Katie. Katie. The woman catches up to me and hugs her and says, Katie, how are you doing? Alison, this is Joy, who worked at the hospital with Maud prior to her conversion and apparently her name then was Katie. 


Alison Leiby: Okay.


Halle Kiefer: And so she works,  still works at [?] and she’s like, oh my god, the hospital is still fucking insane. I mean, you know how slammed we were? And she says, well, how are you been doing? And we kind of all assume that you moved out of town since we hadn’t seen you out. And Maud says, I’m a private carer now, and we see Joy’s eyebrows go up, oh, you’re still nursing? Which where through? She says it’s a private agency. And Joy says, and they know what happened? And Maud says, yes, of course I know, and then turns to go and Joy feeling bad hands her her number and says, call me if you want to get a drink sometime. Let’s go out. It was really great to see you. Meanwhile, Maud continues to attend to Amanda and is watching her like a hawk. Like micromanaging even a game of solitaire that Amanda is trying to play. And Amanda, like, sneaks a card in and she’s like, you can’t do that. She’s like, what are we talking? What do you mean. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Who cares? 


Alison Leiby: Do what? 


Halle Kiefer: Like it’s. Yeah. So to kind of get her out of her hair, Amanda asks, Maud for a cup of tea. Amanda’s phone rings and Maud can hear from the kitchen as Amanda answers and says, what? Wait, wait, what? Why? And as soon as Maud comes back in with the tea, Amanda’s totally shut down. She says, I want to go to bed. Maud says, well, it’s 5 p.m. she says, I can go to bed. I have a lot to do. Whatever I want, I’m going to bed. Of course, as self punishment, instead of being like, well, I really was actually very jealous and inappropriate with this client, Maud instead puts her hands on the stove top and burns her hand as punishment. Of course. 


Alison Leiby: Of course. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s in the morning, Amanda. Still very icy. She’s texting on her phone, presumably with Carol. She’s, like, chuckling to herself. And Maud hates it because she’s being iced out. Maud brings her her breakfast tray, and Amanda says, could you go to town and get a bunch of stuff? And, of course, when Maud walks back, we could hear the bottles clinking, so I was like, you could dump all my booze, but you’re just going to have to buy more, because, I mean, Alison, we’re having a rager. Amanda—


Alison Leiby: Thank God we need a raging party. 


Halle Kiefer: I know Amanda invites all of her, like fancy, presumably London art friends, like dance friends. And they’re all cool. 


Alison Leiby: I mean, I must be at that party. 


Halle Kiefer: I know it’s like a blowout bash. Everyone looks fabulous, like, you know. Also, Amanda is now using a wheelchair full time. And instead of wearing her wig, which she had been putting on, she just wears her silk. 


Alison Leiby: Just the turban. 


Halle Kiefer: The turban. Right. So I think, again, like, she just wants to be comfortable and when she looks at Maud, she’s happy. And when Carol walks in, Carol’s like it looks incredible. In a blue sequined cocktail dress, Amanda literally screams, oh yes. And like wheels over to her. Of course Maud hates this.


Alison Leiby: Yes.


Halle Kiefer: But they’re all kekeing and having a great time. And Maud is like in the kitchen, of course, fuming and just like working on the food. And Hillary, when an obvious lesbian comes in to help her with the birthday cake and Maud’s like fumbling to light the candles, they bring the cake in into the darkened room and everyone sings Happy Birthday as Amanda blows the candles out. Of course, from Maud’s perspective. She can see Amanda sort of coughing as she blows. And Hillary, we see, asking Carol, well, how did you Amanda meet? Amanda says, oh, we met online. And Hillary says, well, you have a real menage a trois here, you know, indicating Maud. And of course, Maud’s over hearing this. And Amanda says, you know, my doesn’t like Carol. She told Carol that she doesn’t like her. I can’t tell if she’s a bigot or if she’s just jealous. Which I think is like—


Alison Leiby: Maybe a little bit of both. 


Halle Kiefer: I it is it is absolutely both in this situation. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, that’s religion. 


Halle Kiefer: She tried to scare Carol away and Maud’s in the room just across the room. And Amanda says, you were trying to save my soul, right? Maud and Maud, Maud of course, is taken aback and furious. And Amanda says, well, so what is it? Am I indecent to you? Also, Amanda is at this point very drunk. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And a man says, am I indecent to someone like you? And Maud says, no, you’re lost. And everyone starts laughing. And one of our Amanda friends puts it, takes a napkin and puts it as a veil on Maud’s head, and ties it with a ribbon to make fun of her. And of course, she yanks it off. And Amanda, who then does feel bad, sort of reaches for Maud, says, please don’t take anything I say seriously. I just want you to loosen up. You’re a beautiful young woman. You should have fun while you can. I didn’t mean, you know, but of course Maud’s not having it now. 


Alison Leiby: Maud doesn’t. Maud doesn’t want to have fun. 


Halle Kiefer: Maud doesn’t have fun. She says. I have more important things on my mind. And Amanda says, oh of course. How could human frivolity compare with the Lord’s warm hard pulsing and Maud slaps her across the face. She slaps Amanda so hard her nose starts bleeding. Oh. Needless to say, she has lost her position as Amanda’s caretaker. 


Alison Leiby: That’s not surprising. And she should have seen that coming. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, and we see her at the hiring agency. Add the woman in charge is like? Yeah. So you’ve been sacked? You’re lucky that she isn’t pressing charges. You did assault a dying woman and she also expressed some other concerns. So I want to check in with you, like, are you okay. So I appreciate this. Amanda was like, I think maybe something’s going on with her. And this was like an outburst based on something—


Alison Leiby: Other things building.


Halle Kiefer: And Maud of course, she’s not allowing that she’s like, I’m fine, everything’s  totally fine. And so she goes back to her shitty little studio apartment with her Saints pictures and her crucifix, and we see as a roach crawls along the wall, we see her hunched over in pain in bed, and she’s asks, God, all I can feel you of you is the pain, you know? Is it? Maybe I have cancer, ulcers and appendicitis, which to me is like as a Catholic, it’s like what? You’re so removed from your emotional pain that you assume. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: It has to be physical. It’s like, no, you you did something bad, and—


Alison Leiby: And you feel guilt. 


Halle Kiefer: And you feel guilty and you’re lonely, but instead it’s like I must. This must be God, you know? And he says, if you’re trying to teach me something, I can’t see what it is. And that’s sort of the thesis sentence of the movie. It’s like, well, if you could look at this from the viewer’s perspective, you could learn and not do this, but you you don’t have that ability. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: She goes down to the water. And we see she’s really distraught. At one point, she’s walking around with her hair wet. So I don’t know if she’s, like, gone in the water and was walking home. You know, and, you know, she’s there. She’s really mad at God. She’s like ranting. She’s like, I was alive and I was open and I am alone and unemployable. And she’s mad. She’s like, maybe you aren’t as wise as I thought. Maybe I wasn’t paying enough attention. Like basically blaming God for this, you know. 


Alison Leiby: Sure. 


Halle Kiefer: And at home we see her. She has a big scab on her burned hand from when she put on the stove, and she starts picking the scab off. We see her walking, we see her walking down to the, care near the water, and we see Amanda out with her caregiver. She never went out with Amanda. And Amanda let the caregiver take her down to the waterfront. Back in her room. Maud’s there and the crucifix falls. Crucifix falls off the wall onto her bed. And every time this kind of thing happens, like the lights flicker in the house, the crucifix falls. This is like her sign, a sign from God, to go do something different. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. It’s not that she lives in an old, shitty apartment where stuff happens. It’s God talking to her and giving her information and a message. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, so. But this time she’s going to get dolled up. She’s got to go out. So she puts on like a going out top. She’s got her arms out. Sort of a low, a low V. She looks gorgeous. She does her makeup. And so again, she doesn’t understand how to, like, make friendships or be with people. Right? So she’s thinking, okay, I will go in like a doll myself up and try to talk to somebody. Unfortunately, as someone who’s ever tried to meet a good friend at a bar alone, it doesn’t work every time. 


Alison Leiby: No I wouldn’t think. 


Halle Kiefer: So she’s drinking a beer and trying to make eye contact with anybody in the bar, and she meets this young man’s gaze and smiles at him, and later, seconds later, gives me a hand job, sort of outside the telephones in the back, like outside the bathroom. 


Alison Leiby: Okay, Maud. 


Halle Kiefer: And he comes in her hand like they’re both fully dressed, and he says, sorry. And then he and his friend leave, and I was like, and that’s straight dating as far as I’m concerned. 


Alison Leiby: That’s pretty par for the course. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. She goes back to the bar and she tries there’s like a, two couples, like a four top and poor Maud’s like, haha, like, try to join them and it’s like, oh, cause we’ve all been there. Where you’re like. 


Alison Leiby: Oh God. 


Halle Kiefer: Maybe these people will let me join them. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: And also, I love when people join. Like, I actually like what a stranger comes over, but when it doesn’t work, it’s so humiliating. 


Alison Leiby: It’s awful. 


Halle Kiefer: Like it’s just like, I’m sorry, I thought we were all laughing, but we don’t know me, you know? So. So she does what you do with that situation, which is get fucking wasted, right? 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And she calls Joy. Who gave the number. She’s wasted. And she fumbles that call, too. And she’s like, sorry, I you’re right. I should have, I said like, she can’t even, like, express herself at the end. She says, I apologize, I’m pretty stupid. Oh, okay. Never mind. We see Maud go back to the bar. She keeps drinking and when she looks down at her beer, it forms a whirlpool. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And she leaps up and she runs into another table. When she looks at it, their beers are also whirlpooling as well. She turns and she’s like runs face first into a big friendly looking guy with a beard. One of are our best kind of guys I think. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah great guy. 


Halle Kiefer: And he gestures at the beer that spilled over and says you owe me a drink. Cut to Maud and this guy fucking. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: But it’s obviously—


Alison Leiby: Busy night. 


Halle Kiefer: Busy night. She’s getting it done. I mean. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: She’s not enjoying all of it. I think it’s things like—


Alison Leiby: But it’s happening. 


Halle Kiefer: We’re watching her go through the motions of, like, enjoying herself. Which, as somebody who thought they were straight for a long time. Boy, have I been there, girl and she’s like, on top of this guy has her hands on his chest and he, like, keeps trying to reach for her, but she’s, she’s having sex with him like she’s grinding on him. But it’s kind of like he, he’s neither here nor there, right? 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Like she he reaches out, but she slaps his hand away. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: And we cut between them fucking. And then the patient we saw at the beginning, and we see Maud performing CPR on this person. And then of course, we see cut to Maud on top of this guy. And then we see what happened to the patient at the beginning, which is Maud breaks her rib cage and you don’t really see this person. I took her to be an elderly woman shatters her rib cage and we cut to the guy that she’s having sex with blood gushing out of his mouth, and she screams and leaps off of him. She was. She was just. It’s just a hallucination. 


Alison Leiby: Okay, okay. 


Halle Kiefer: The guy’s fine, but she’s, of course, having—


Alison Leiby: Remembering, right. Yes.


Halle Kiefer: And apparently that’s how she inadvertently killed this person. It was, I’m sure, traumatic. And she’s like, he holds her. She’s like, easy, easy. And then he turns her over and starts having sex with her. And he she tells him no, but he rapes her anyways. Afterwards, he lights a cigarette and he says, you know, I remember you used to be out all the time. I think you and my mate Tommy had it off. Lovely little nursey. So of course Maud throws her clothes on and runs back to her place. 


Alison Leiby: Poor Maud.


Halle Kiefer: I know Maud can’t catch a break and it is mostly her fault, but also the world does suck. You know. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s like Maud seeking for something and finding, Maud sort of. I would say an incel in a sense, where it’s like the world is bad, but also you are taking like you have no concept of your role in it. 


Alison Leiby: Yes, yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Like you, you are letting it driving insane because you can’t see how your behavior is not to blame for this incident. Like, this guy’s a piece of shit. And obviously she was trying to prove something to have like a normal life or whatever and we see her turn on the faucet and the sink starts filling up and she prays to God. She says, I changed, didn’t I? I said, I did everything you said I had to do. Like, please don’t let me fall again. I’m begging you. And we see her hands start shaking and she starts vomiting explosively and she hears explosions outside, and she runs to the window and sees fireworks exploding in the sky. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And she falls to the ground and she can see water pouring out of the sink. She’s writhing and screaming and vomiting again, and we see the roach crawling on the ceiling ceiling of the hospital and in her shitty studio apartment, Alison Maud starts floating in the air. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: She levitates about six feet off the ground. 


Alison Leiby: Sure. 


Halle Kiefer: And she opens her eyes and gasps, but this time it’s with a smile. So at this point, I have to ask you, Alison, who will survive this movie? 


[voice over]: Who will survive? 


Alison Leiby: Poor Maud is not going to make it. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, I think, you’re, I think we all know that that’s where we’re headed. 


Alison Leiby: That’s where we’re going. I think it’s possible that by the end, Amanda has passed. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes, I think you you might be dead, dead on about that. What about Joy? What do you think about her old coworker. 


Alison Leiby: Her friend? I think she’ll be alive. I feel like she’ll find things that Maud has left behind and be the person who’s, like, piecing together, like, oh, things really went south here. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay, great. 




Halle Kiefer: In the morning. Maud’s got a new attitude. We see her cleaning up her apartment and tells God revelation. And just in time to think, I almost fell so easily. It was your bagging of her clothes was here, burning some of her clothes in the sink, and she makes a I don’t know exactly how you pronounce it, but it’s, it’s spelled s p u g n a, a a spugna? Which, of course, is it? Interesting instrument of penance used by some Christians who practice mortification of the flesh. So basically it is a sponge. It’s made of cork that you insert metal studs, nails or spikes into and that you put it, in your shoe or I guess you could kneel on it. You do whatever you want to do with it, you hurt yourself because, humans, they’re our brains are bad. And we think that an all loving God would want us to hurt ourselves, to show our dedication to him. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s not good. Don’t do this. 


Alison Leiby: Don’t do this. 


Halle Kiefer: And also, I didn’t know that was the name of it, but I think a spugna is how you pronounce it. She puts it in her shoe so she could always be walking on nails, much like, of course, the nails, driven through Jesus Christ’s body. And as a result, this is the mortification is like you are reenacting and committing yourself to and repenting for the the death of Jesus Christ, you know, and so there’s a lot of different kinds of self-flagellation. We don’t have to go into it. But, here she’s put it in her shoe and she’s walking around and she’s grimacing through the pain, but she’s also smiling at her righteousness. Unfortunately, Maud is still obsessed with Amanda, and we see her looking at Amanda’s house. There’s sort of like a viewfinder at the beach to look out over the shoreline. And she’s looking at Amanda’s house, and she starts googling Amanda’s career video of her dancing. And we see Maud cutting up the William Blake book and put it on the wall, and she says, Amanda, you called out to me. This was no small thing. And she repeats what she said at the beginning, never waste your pain. And she cuts out the part of the book which says, Amanda wrote my Savior and puts it on the wall. Clearly, she’s entering like a new cycle of obsession, like she’s back at it, right? She saw her, Amanda and her new carer at the beach at one time. So she also starts, stalking the caregiver. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And eventually, the caregiver, takes a break and is getting lunch. Is like eating lunch at a bench at the waterfront and not knowing who Maud is. When Maud comes over, says, hey, do you mind if I join you? Just starts chatting with her, right? And Maud, of course, having been a caregiver is like, oh, are you wearing scrubs? Are you a nurse? And she says, you know, no, I, I work at a prep for a private agency, and it’s like, everyone who works in the medical field is incredibly beautiful and intelligent, and, I just think it’s the most noble thing you could do with your life. And the woman says, yeah, like I, I’m tending to this woman. She’s in hospice right now. She’s so amazing. We’ve really gotten really close. It’s so precious that I get to have these relationships with people at the end of their lives. And I don’t think she has much time, of course, Maud is furious to hear this— 


Alison Leiby: She’s like, that should be me. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And she turns to Maud. She says, I’m sorry, I should have said this earlier. My name’s Esther. What’s yours? And Maud just gets up and storms away, fuming. 


Alison Leiby: Maud. 


Halle Kiefer: And Maud again, mad at God, for all this? And she says, what if you’re smirking? What if you think I’m a clueless idiot like that stupid woman? Is that how Amanda saw me all along? And that night Maud lies in the dark. We see the roach crawl out of the sink and towards the shrine. Alison, when the roach approaches the shrine, the air ripples like, like water. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So Maud gets up and approaches the shrine and we hear a man’s voice say, in Welsh, the voice of God. Ostensibly, my child, the hour draws near. Soon you will join the great embrace you’ve known for some time. And this world is just a game. Your life, childhood, mom and dad. You could feel that there was something more you could feel. There was something more. And all you yearned for was to touch it. I’m proud of how far you’ve come. I am proud of you. And one of the William Blake cut outs falls to the floor and Maud picks it up again. Another. Every time this happens, like another vision, another sign from God. Meanwhile, it’s just a piece of paper fell off the wall. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: And the voice of God. Of course. We’ll put in a clip here. Says take the take on this last test and then we’ll, we’ll be together truly. [clip of God] And she says God, how will I know what to do? And he says, you’ve always known what to do. And Maud goes back to bed in the morning. She strips her sheets and put her, puts them on sort of as a shroud, you know. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: So, like, you see, like a, you know, a saint or the Virgin Mary and puts her big wooden rosary off the wall over her head. So again, she’s making herself fully into, like a, a penitent or like she’s making herself into a saint. The Saint Maud, of course. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And we see her. And this is like what I think is interesting about this movie and what I think is interesting about, like, say, the invitation, where it’s like, once you decide that you were in charge of a religion. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Then you really are allowed to go buck wild. For example, as a Catholic, you would never say, fill the sink with water and then bless it yourself and then make your own holy water to put in a bottle. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: But Maud’s off the chain—


Alison Leiby: She’s so deep in it’s like yeah, that’s part of it. Why not? You can do that. 


Halle Kiefer: That. And there is something like, I know in Mormonism where they think that you could talk directly to God. And what an incredibly dangerous thing that is to talk to people, tell people. And I just have that Catholicism like priest where it’s like, well. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: We see where that always ends up, where you could rationalize anything you think. [both speaking]. 


Alison Leiby: Great. 


Halle Kiefer: Right. You’re like, well, what does God want? It’s crazy. God wants the same thing I want. That’s a wow. Well, I guess I have to listen to him, you know, we also see there’s a big bottle of acetone, in her apartment, which, again, is not something you like to see. 


Alison Leiby: You don’t need that. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s the morning, and suddenly there’s a knock at the door and a woman calls through. It’s Joy. She’s just stopped by to say hi. Probably because last time she talked to Maud, she was drunk on the phone. Maud lets her in, and Joy’s like, oh, wow, look at your shrine. Like, this is really cool. And she lights up a cigarette and Maud is really out of it. So Maud keep staring out the window looking at Joy. And Joy said, hey, I just want to apologize for what I said, you’re a great nurse. I know that what happened is not your fault, and I know that. And I want you to know that too. So I’m sorry that I said it like that, but I just want to make sure that you know that. And she could tell something is going on. So she says, what’s going on with you, Katie? So again, it’s like, this is the one person who really is trying to reach out to her. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: And she says, you know, I just want to also say we should have been there for you when that happened, because we saw you struggling before that happened. And everyone’s like in their own little bubble. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But we we all knew in retrospect that you were in a bad place. And then that happened. And I think the ostensible thing is like she had some sort of break and then became converted, right? 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: However, it’s kind of falling on deaf ears at this point because Maud is look out the window and in the clouds starts to see a whirl. Like the beers in the bar, right? 


Alison Leiby: No. Oh, no. 


Halle Kiefer: But Maud comes over and says, Joy, may the Lord bless and keep you. Don’t worry about me. Back then I was so lost. But I am transformed. And soon everyone will see. 


Alison Leiby: That’s never I. That’s never a good sentence for someone to say. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, I would say the sentence to look out for is soon, everyone will see. 


Alison Leiby: Everyone will see. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. That’s, oh, that’s—


Alison Leiby: That’s a tough one. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, I was right about the, everyone get your places, the plays about where to put on a play, and soon everyone will see it the second the curtain goes up. No, other than that. 


Alison Leiby: Other than that, it is just not a great thing to hear. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, Houston, we have a problem for sure. And Joy obviously picks that up and says, okay, well, how about I, I’ll come by later, you know, just to check in, because it seems like maybe something’s going on.


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: On, you know, and it’s like, kudos to you, Joy, for trying to get involved. We see Maud grab her water bottle full of holy water, and when night falls, she walks in her, Saint outfit up the main road to Amanda’s house, and we see Maud hiding in the bushes until Esther, the, caregiver leaves. And then she sneaks into the house. And of course, when she walks in, the electricity flickers again when she took as, takes as a sign. 


Alison Leiby: Of course, God is talking to her. And not just that. The power grids are not just incredibly reliable. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, exactly. She goes to Amanda’s room, we see Amanda is asleep and she now has an oxygen tank in her her. She has no turban so her hair is very sparse. So we see her bare head and, Maud comes up and touches Amanda on the face and Amanda says, oh, it’s you. I’m so sorry I was unkind to you. You made me think of things I didn’t want to think about. And Maud says the Lord forgives that which is set in anger. Don’t worry. He knows what’s in your heart. But Amanda is. She’s too much of a crank. She’s like, oh, right. The Lord. Okay. And I. A Maud, opens her bottle of holy water and takes makes the sign of a cross on Amanda’s forehead, and she kind of slaps her hand away and says, snap out of it, honey. You know he isn’t real, right? You must know that Maud does not know that. 


Alison Leiby: That is not something you say to somebody who is in Maud’s state. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, she’s gone full Maud bitch. She says, but you have to remember, it was like that time where they both sort of experienced it and Amanda said, I can feel him. And Amanda says I didn’t feel it. You have no idea how dull it is to be dying. Alison. She faked it. She faked her ecstasy and faked her experience with God. And Amanda tells Maud, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but nothing matters. And Maud just immediately starts breaking down crying. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And Amanda starts laughing and says, well, that was easy. And Amanda lunges forward and her face distorts into a demon’s face, and she flips Maud across the room, cackling in this low demonic voice, and she tells Maud, take some responsibility. You came back here because you are alone. If you were a true believer, he would be enough. But it’s clear now you are as weak as your faith. Unfortunately, at that Maud grabs a pair of scissors off a tray of medical supplies and leaps onto Amanda and just starts stabbing her to death, screaming over and over again. 


Alison Leiby: Oh no. 


Halle Kiefer: Blood spraying everywhere. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: Killing Amanda. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Maud leaves and outside we see her spattered with blood. She’s moved by the spirit like she’s in ecstasy. And she’s almost like flying through the night. Like she’s, like, shuddering. She’s. She’s grabbing. God is with her like she is. She’s in ecstasy. She goes home. She cleans up and she lays there as a clock ticks and we see her. Get out a new fresh pair of sheets. And when she turns behind her, she sees connected to her back a pair of glowing golden wings. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, no. 


Halle Kiefer: Well, unfortunately, that’s given her even more ideas. So we see Maud walking again in a bedsheet and across to the beach. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, boy. 


Halle Kiefer: And above her, she sees the clouds swirling and she’s sort of singing hymns gently to herself, and she puts down the plastic bag she was carrying. And in the plastic bag, Alison, unfortunately, is the bottle of acetone. And there are some people like, it’s people like, it’s like a cold, breezy English beach. So it’s not like beach people and people like walking their dog. 


Alison Leiby: It’s like a nice place to go for a walk. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. And it’s early morning, so there aren’t a ton of people. But when she opens the acetone, and starts dumping it on her head. Obviously, anyone walking around the boardwalk at the beach starts screaming, and you hear someone be like, someone stop her. Someone help her. Like people are trying to run over to her and Maud takes out a lighter and sparks one up for the Lord, Alison. And when she opens her eyes, everyone on the beach is standing there reverent, watching her, and she says in Welsh, Glory to God. And then the flames ignite her, and everyone on the beach falls to their knees, seeing her as she is. Alison, a shining angel with beautiful glowing wings. And at the very end of the film, for one split second, we see reality Maud consumed by fire, skin falling off. 


Alison Leiby: Ugh.


Halle Kiefer: Mouth open as she howls in pain. And that’s where being Catholic is. The end. 


Alison Leiby: Wow. 


Halle Kiefer: What a good one. 


Alison Leiby: That’s a good one. 


Halle Kiefer: What are some fatal mistakes you think may have been made in the movie Saint Maud? Alison. 


[voice over]: Fatal mistakes. 


Alison Leiby: To experience a trauma like, you know, killing somebody, as a nurse, and instead of processing it in a healthy way, that includes dealing with your own interiority and therapy. Just turning blindly to a religion feels like. You’re never going to have a good relationship with that religion. And therefore this is where that ends up. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And I think there’s like we have joy, like as this person who was obviously concerned and did obviously come for her. So it’s sort of like in any like positive feeling about religion. 




Joy is an angel. Like Joy is a saint, Joy is someone who, like, can tell something’s wrong, but she can’t accept it because she has. She’s so committed to this, idea of redeeming someone else about sort of like proving herself to God to follow a path. Yeah. It’s like once you do that, you. It’s like almost. I think it’s a comment on, like, religion innately takes you away from reality. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Right. With this kind of religion, not like spirituality or belief or whatever. But like, if you really think that God’s knocking photos off the wall to talk to you, how can you live a normal life? How can you connect with people in reality, you know? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. And I’ll also say whatever this private staffing agency is, whether they knew or didn’t know about her past. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Perhaps needs a deeper vetting system. 


Halle Kiefer: I mean, that’s what I was thinking was like, is there is not that many people in this area in England. 


Alison Leiby: She’s trained she’s trained. 


Halle Kiefer: And there is a nursing shortage here. So I’m sure it’s there as well. Like, well, I guess okay. So she may have broken an elderly person’s rib cage and killed them, but yeah, that’s probably happened again. And then finally, where would you place Saint Maud on the spooky scale? Alison? 


[voice over]: A spooky scale. 


Alison Leiby: I feel like this is a seven. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay, great. 


Alison Leiby: I think in general, religion is very scary, and all of the self-inflicted pain that she goes through is very upsetting. And her little terrible apartment and the cockroach. And it’s all. It’s rough, I think. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Because the other implication also is the cockroach is God. 


Alison Leiby: Right? Which I also am not like loving. 


Halle Kiefer: I’m not loving it. 


Alison Leiby: I’m not loving it. 


Halle Kiefer: Bah bah bah bah bah, not loving it. 


Alison Leiby: Not loving it. 


Halle Kiefer: I’m going to give it a seven. Yeah, I feel like it’s a great movie, I loved it, I thought, this is perfect. It’s 84 minutes long. It’s a perfect film. 


Alison Leiby: A dream. 


Halle Kiefer: Shout out to, Rose Glass. Will absolutely have to go see, Love Lies Bleeding. And, yeah, a truly perfect little film I love it. 


Alison Leiby: Great for March Madness. 


Halle Kiefer: Hell, yeah. Thank you for joining us, everybody. 


Alison Leiby: Thank you. 


Halle Kiefer: Enjoy lent now that we’re in lent, which I also forgot about, try not to self-flagellate yourself too much. You know what I mean?


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Do what you gotta do. But. All right. Until next time, guys. 


Alison Leiby: Please. 


Halle Kiefer: Please keep it spooky. Don’t forget to follow us at Ruined podcasts and Crooked Media on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok for show updates. And if you’re just as opinionated as we are, consider dropping us a review. Ruined is a Radio Point and Crooked Media production, we’re your writers and hosts Halle Kiefer and Alison Leiby. This show is executive produced by Alex Bach, Sabrina Fonfeder and Houston Snyder, and recorded and edited by Kat Iossa. From Crooked Media our executive producer is Kendra James with production and promotional support from Ari Schwartz, Kyle Seglin, Julia Beach, Caroline Dunphy, and Ewa Okulate.