'Novitiate': Julianne Nicholson shares the secret to an evocative supporting performance

Actress Julianne Nicholson tells Los Angeles Times staff writer Mark Olsen what the trick is to “not having a lot of scenes in a movie, and yet still kind of coming in and making a really big emotional impression.”

Olsen recently sat down to discuss “Novitiate” with Nicholson (“Black Mass”), actress Margaret Qualley (“The Nice Guys”) and director Maggie Betts (“Engram,” “The Carrier”).

Set in the early 1960s, “Novitiate” tells the story of a young woman entering a convent that is struggling with the radical doctrinal changes brought by the Vatican II council.

Qualley plays Sister Cathleen, whose first love unfolds through her relationship with God, and Nicholson plays her mother, Nora Harris, who grows apart from her daughter after she wins a scholarship to a Catholic school.

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