Vincent Lindon has played a variety of roles since the beginning of the 1980s, none more intriguing than ‘very drunk man’ in Mathieu Kassovitz’s seminal La Haine. Whilst he’s been a consistently impressive actor, it’s only in the last decade or so that he’s begun to receive the recognition he deserves. In 2015, Lindon won best actor at Cannes for The Measure of a Man but he’s also delivered great performances in Bastards, Welcome and A Few Hours of Spring. He’s equally impressive in his new film The Apparition.

After the death of his friend, a war reporter (Jacques – Lindon) returns to his native France, weary and traumatised. His reputation as an intrepid investigative journalist brings him to the attention of the Vatican. In the South of France, a teenage girl Anna (Galatéa Bellugi) professes to have seen a vision of the Virgin Mary. Jacques is recruited to investigate the veracity of her claim and decide whether it should be classified as a divine occurrence.

The Apparition is a thought-provoking and powerful treatise on faith, belief and a look at the lengths some people will go to in order to twist a situation to their own ends. Lindon is superb as the increasingly fraught Jacques, desperately trying to uncover the truth whilst becoming increasingly personally involved with Anna. The web of intrigue cast around Anna only adds to the mystery. In the end, some things are best left hidden. Xavier Giannoli’s astute and intelligent film is a beautiful piece of contemporary film-making.

The Apparition is out in cinemas from 3 August.