Cinema: Sounding Brass

NASTY HABITS

Directed by MICHAEL LINDSAY-HOGG

Screenplay by ROBERT ENDERS

Last year. All the President's Men; this year, all the abbess's nuns. Nasty Habits, adapted from Muriel Spark's 1974 novella The Abbess of Crewe, uses the goings-on at a Roman Catholic abbey outside Philadelphia to burlesque the Watergate affair.

Glenda Jackson, who is running for abbess, consolidates her strength with the help of two Haldeman-Ehrlichman types (Geraldine Page, Anne Jackson) and enough bugs and hidden cameras to outfit Moscow's embassy row. Her young rival (Susan Penhaligon), who is having a tumble under the poplars...

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