THE LITTLE HOURS
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NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by James B
The film opens on a pastoral forest scene. Sister Fernanda (Aubrey Plaza), dressed head to toe in full winter habit, is leading a donkey through the trees, and ultimately through a field and back to her convent where she puts it back into its stall. She is confronted by Sister Genevra (Kate Micucci), who asks why she is in her winter garb in the heat of summer. She wants to know how the donkey keeps getting free, and they argue.
They head back toward the housing part of the convent and pass by the groundskeeper, who offers them a pleasant greeting. In response, they hurl obscenities at him. They've told him never to speak to or look at them again, yet he continues to do so, and they are furious. They physically assault him with vegetables and farming tools.
We cut to a castle, where Lord Bruno (Nick Offerman) is having dinner with his wife, Francesca (Lauren Weedman). He is babbling on and on about finances and wars with other lands, and she is clearly irritated. She responds sarcastically to everything he says, and she keeps making eye contact with manservant Massetto (Dave Franco) who stands nearby. Guards Gregorio and Paolo stand watch, and everyone in the room is exasperated by Lord Bruno's nonstop talking. It is clear from the looks they exchange that Massetto and Francesca are involved.
We cut to later in the evening. Francesca and Massetto are in bed, having just made love. She complains about how boring and awful her husband is. She hears various noises and is concerned he is about to walk in on them, but she also won't stop complaining about him. Massetto says she is just as bad as he is, only her complaining is about her husband's complaining. She says Massetto sounds just like her husband, and Massetto mounts her again primarily to make her shut up. They hear another noise, and this time it is, in fact, Lord Bruno entering the room.
Massetto escapes through the window and runs back to to the servant's quarters. Lord Bruno follows, but Massetto leaps into bed and pretends to be sleeping. Lord Bruno puts his hand on the chest of all of his servants, and detects Massetto's increased heartbeat. It is too dark to determine who is whom, so he cuts off Massetto's ponytail and whispers “Now I will know who you are in the morning.” After Lord Bruno leaves, Massetto cuts off the ponytails of all of the other servants.
In the morning, Lord Bruno is furious at this betrayal. Later in the day, Francesca corners Massetto in the garden and tries to initiate sex. She has completely lost any sense of discretion, and as a result, Lord Bruno sees them out in the open and sends his guards to accost Massetto, telling them to cut off his balls. Massetto flees into the forest.
Back at the convent, prim and proper sister Alessandra (Alison Brie) is weaving and embroidering fabrics. Father Tommasso (John C. Reilly) gathers them with the intention of taking them to market to sell. Fernanda and Genevra discuss that Alessandra is only in the convent because her wealthy father donates money to it. Tommasso converses with Mother Superior and Sister Marea (Molly Shannon), that Alessandra may not be the best fit for the convent. As he leaves to go to market, he is confronted by the groundskeeper, who quits his job because of the ongoing abuse. Tommasso begs him to stay just long enough for him to return from the market but he refuses.
In the woods, Massetto continues to flee when he stumbles upon Tommasso. Tommasso is drunk, and his cart has overturned, sending all of the fabrics into the rushing river. Massetto takes pity on him and gathers up the soaked fabrics. In return, Tommasso offers him shelter for the night at the convent. They agree that he will take on the groundskeeper position, and concoct a ruse wherein he will pretend to be mute and deaf. That way the sisters will have no reason to be angry or abusive toward him.
They return to the convent, and the next morning Tommasso introduces Massetto to Marea. She seems wary at first but agrees to take him on as the groundskeeper. Tommasso also lies and says he was accosted by thieves who stole all of the fabric he went to sell. Genevra barges in and complains that the donkey is always getting loose, and asks Marea to give her the responsibility of taking care of it in the future. Alessandra gets a visit from her father, Ilario. They communicate through a wall with holes in it. He says he is having trouble finding her a husband, partially because the family business is suffering and he cannot come up with a dowry. He says it would be cheaper for her to stay at the convent and have him continue to give them donations. Alessandra is distressed.
Fernanda comes upon Massetto in the courtyard. Not recognizing him, she becomes irate and pulls a weapon on him, demanding to know his identity. Marea comes upon the scene and tells her he is the new groundskeeper, urging her to back off. The younger sisters are wary of him, but at the same time curious at his presence.
That evening someone throws stones at Fernanda's window. It's her friend Marta, whom she lets in and dresses in a habit. The two lay in bed drinking sacrificial wine, and Alessandra joins them. Curious at the commotion, Genevra shows up and reluctantly drinks with them. Marta mentions that she has heard of a way to use belladonna to concoct a potion that will seduce men.They all get drunk, and Marta and Fernanda begin to kiss and grope each other. Genevra is concerned but secretly interested, so they bring her into the encounter, but she is so drunk they must return her to her room. Genevra and Fernanda have sex.
In the morning, Marta and Fernanda go into the woods and create a belladonna potion. Marta warns her not to drink it. Marta puts two small drops of it into each of Fernanda's eyes. She cuts Fernanda's finger and uses the blood to rouge her cheeks. Genevra hides nearby and witnesses this. Fernanda and Marta burst into Massetto's living quarters and sexually assault him. They disrobe him and fondle his genitals, kneeling down and smelling them. Fernanda mounts him and dry humps him, but then the women leave. Shortly after that Alessandra enters and begins complaining about her life to Massetto, thinking he cannot hear her. She then seduces and has sex with him.
The next day, Bishop Bartolomeo (Fred Armisen) comes to visit the convent. Tommasso and Marea give him a tour. Genevra goes into the wine cellar and makes the belladonna potion, but drinks it and begins to hallucinate. Massetto sneaks into Alessandra's room, and they begin to have sex when an elderly nun enters the room, seeming not to notice. Alessandra gathers herself and goes over to sit by the older nun, and the two begin to embroider fabrics as Massetto hides under the bed. He attempts to sneak out the window until Tommasso, Maera and Bartolomeo briefly enter the room as part of the tour. After they leave, he escapes, but in his shock, he briefly speaks.
He retreats to his quarters, where Alessandra confronts him about lying about his deaf and muteness. He apologizes, and they begin to have sex again. Outside, Genevra violently cuts her hand and smears blood on her face, emulating the more subtle rouging Fernanda applied. Genevra bursts into Massetto's quarters, high on belladonna, and Alessandra leaps behind a wall to hide. Genevra attempts to seduce him but doesn't know what she is doing, and then she realizes and confesses she is gay.
Just then Marta and Fernanda burst in, and Genevra leaps behind the same wall where Alessandra is hiding. Fernanda puts a knife to Massetto's throat, binds his hands and blindfolds him and leads him away into the woods. Genevra and Alessandra follow and discover a coven of nude witches dancing around a bonfire. Massetto is tied to an altar where Fernanda is once again dry humping him. They intend to kill him in a ritual sacrifice, until Genevra, in her drug induced state, runs into the midst and starts screaming at and attacking the witches. Marta attempts to calm her down, but Genevra bludgeons Marta in the head with a huge totem stick. Alessandra intervenes with Fernanda and stops her from murdering Massetto, who begins to speak and reveals his ruse to everyone. Genevra tearfully confesses that not only is she gay, she is also Jewish.
Genevra runs, nude and covered in blood, back to the convent and begins banging on everyone's doors screaming for help. She bangs on Marea's door who calls out “Be out in a minute!,” and ultimately awakens Bartolomeo. The other sisters catch up with Genevraand everyone begins accusing each other of sins. Genevra says Fernanda is a witch, and Fernanda reveals Genevra is a lesbian and Jewish. Just then Tommasso and Marea emerge from her bedroom, and it is clear that they were having sex.
The next morning everyone is forced to confess to Bartolomeo where he reads out the lists of their numerous sins and offenses. They are all given penance, and Tommasso's priesthood is stripped, and he is sent away to be a monk at a monastery. Massetto is sent back to the castle of Lord Bruno where he is imprisoned.The younger sisters sit out in a field of flowers and apologize for betraying one another, but worry about Massetto's safety.
Back in prison Lord Bruno tells Massetto he is going to keep him there and alive for as long as possible, slowly torturing him with rats. He says he has sent Francesca away as she turned out to be from an enemy village, but he has a new wife who will be a better lover once she reaches puberty. When he leaves, Massetto pleads with Paolo and Gregorio to free him, but the refuse and instead mock and tease him. Suddenly, a turtle with a candle on it's back, walks by, and the guards follow it in wonder. Alessandra, Genera, and Fernanda appear and free Massetto. They leave a dummy in his place and dress him in a nun's habit, escaping the castle together.
Out in the woods, Marea is taking the donkey for a walk when she encounters Tommasso. They embrace and confess their love for one another. Just then the sisters come running by with Massetto, so Tommasso and Marea duck and hide. Running by, Alessandra stops and sees the donkey standing alone. She considers it curiously for a lingering moment until Alessandra doubles back and grabs her, urging her to continue with them. They run off into the woods, and the film concludes.
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A young manservant sleeps with his boss' wife and is caught, so he flees. He takes refuge in a convent where the young nuns are verbally and physically abusive. He pretends to be deaf and mute to avoid conflict. The young nuns are not what they seem, indulging in profanity, sex, lesbianism and alcohol. The priest at the convent is having an affair with the mother superior.
One of the young nuns starts a sexual affair with the manservent. Another teams up with her friend, a secret witch, and concocts a potion to seduce him. Yet another young nun, secretly a Jewish lesbian, spies on everyone and finds out their secrets. The two witches kidnap the manservant and attempt to kill him, but the nun he has been sleeping with intervenes. Everyone's secrets are found out by a visiting Bishop, and they are all punished. After being sent back to his former master, the three young nuns rescue the manservant, and everyone escapes into the woods.