Saturday, August 16, 2014

Film Review - Calvary

4.5 Stars

I love seeing films where I know that I’m going to find the whole thing uncomfortable. It was always going to be a toss up as to whether I saw this or not. In the end, with Sam and Teddy in tow, we went off to see Calvary the other night.

Easily the best movie I've seen all year.

I’d be surprised it Brendan Gleeson doesn't get an Oscar nomination for this film – he is absolutely superlative as the conflicted priest, putting his life in order before what appears to be a pointless, but inevitable conclusion. You can’t help but love  Father James, a man who has had a life, who became a priest after leading a full life. You have to love a man who loves his dog (Oh, Bruno) and his daughter (Yes, he has a daughter) Living on Ireland’s rugged West Coast, you get to see some of the most incredible scenery in this ancient country.

See, Father James is a good man, and a good priest, in a community that appears to have lost its way. You meet the characters early – at mass. Chris O’Dowd’s gormless butcher, Aiden Gillen’s creepy doctor, Dylan Moran’s narcissist, the writer, the mechanic, the publican and the local battered wife all have a big part to play as Father James faces his own Calvary – or walk to his death. Nobody is perfect. Nobody is happy. Everybody is after something or somebody – and Father James must live amongst this.

I can’t give too much away. I said before that this is one of the most powerful films you will ever see as it investigates a man on his own personal road to Golgotha.

Most striking for me – the first and last scenes in the film will haunt you for days. The first line of the film is one of the most powerful you will ever hear. The last scene, just as brutally shocking, more for what is not said that the lack of words. 

The cinema sat silent well into the credits.

Calvary is not an easy film to watch. The humour is as black as Turkish coffee and the acting superlative. It's a very important film, thought provoking and full of clear sight for those in awful predicaments. 

Definitely worth a view.

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