17 items from 2014
Trials of Faith Without Error; Glesson’s Good Priest Suffers for Sins of the Fathers
Two years after The Guard, the most commercially successful Irish film of all time, writer-director John Michael McDonagh and actor Brendan Gleeson return with considerably darker arthouse fare. Part Two of the unfinished “Glorified Suicide Trilogy”, Calvary begins inside a shadowy confessional with the announcement, “I first tasted semen when I was seven years old”. To the voice behind the lattice, Gleeson’s priest replies, “Certainly a startling open line” – speaking, more or less, on behalf of Calvary’s wrong-footed audience. The recollection of sexual abuse precedes a heavy dose of theological and moral insight, but lively, quick-witted dialogue will sweeten the pill.
- Caitlin Coder
John Michael McDonagh's Calvary stars Brendan Gleeson, Kelly Reilly, Chris O'Dowd, Isaach De Bankolé, Domhnall Gleeson, Dylan Moran with The Diving Bell And The Butterfly's Marie-Josée Croze, Aidan Gillen, Dylan Moran, M Emmet Walsh and David Wilmot. Fox Searchlight Pictures celebrated with a luncheon at the Explorers Club in New York with guests including Jimmy Breslin, Dana Delany, Jodi Applegate, Annette Insdorf, Eugene Hernandez, Joyce Carol Oates and Charles Gross.
I spoke with Kelly Reilly and what started out with Monica Vitti in Michelangelo Antonioni's Red Desert and Tippi Hedren's style in Hitchcock's The Birds, quickly turned to themes of forgiveness which brought us to develop a quick theory of a Holy Female Trinity holding Calvary together, before lunch was served.
- Anne-Katrin Titze
Stars: Brendan Gleeson, Chris O’Dowd, Kelly Reilly, Aidan Gillen, Dylan Moran, Isaach De Bankolé, M. Emmet Walsh, Marie-Josée Croze, Domhnall Gleeson, David Wilmot | Written and Directed by John Michael McDonagh
In 2012 writer and director John Michael McDonagh broke out worldwide with the indie action-comedy The Guard. It’s story of an unapologetic Irish policemen teaming up with a fish out of water FBI Agent had all the initial makings of a classic 80’s buddy cop film. It took that cliché format and added some sharp orthodox absurdity to make something refreshing original.
In his latest film Calvary he is once again teaming up with veteran actor Brendan Gleeson to tell a story of a benevolent priest trying to come to terms with the ever-increasing cynical world around him. McDonagh blends his dark sense of humor with melancholic storytelling to craft an enduring tale about the hardships faith sustains »
- Dan Clark
There are few directors who could find comedy in the premise of a priest who has been mysteriously told by an unidentified man that he'll be killed. But then perhaps you're not familiar with John Michael McDonagh, who put himself on the cinematic map with outrageous "The Guard," and returns with "Calvary." And today we have a batch of exclusive pics from the film. A terrific cast has been brought together for this one, with Brendan Gleeson, Kelly Reilly, Aidan Gillen, Isaach de Bankolé and Chris O'Dowd among the ensemble, in the tale of the man of the cloth, who tries to continue with this churchly responsibilities, even with the looming threat of death. It's one we highly recommend with our critic out of Sundance calling the film "an inventive whodunit in reverse," but if you can't take his word, perhaps the Ecumenical Jury prize from the Berlin Film Festival will sway you. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Nothing like a little lovely soulful jazz on a warm, but not too hot, summer day (in NYC anyway), in lush black and white cinematography, compliments of songstress/diva, Cassandra Wilson on vocals, Isaach de Bankole as subject, and Arthur Jafa behind the camera. The track is called "Until," and it's from Wilson's 1995 album, "New Moon Daughter" - easily my favorite of all her albums, and I highly recommend it, if you aren't already familiar. I'm sure actor Isaach de Bankole needs no intro around here, given how often his name comes up. And of course, Arthur Jafa - the proverbial renaissance man - artist, critique, intellectual, and more, whose intro to most was »
- Tambay A. Obenson
The accolades have been rolling in for John Michael McDonagh's "Calvary." It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January to solid reviews, including ours which highlighted the "unwavering commitment to the intelligent thorniness of its themes" and the execution of the material brings "it soaring close to something divine." Things have been a bit quiet since, but the movie is now headed to theatres and a new clip and some images have arrived. Brendan Gleeson leads the film, reteaming with his "The Guard" writer/director, for this tale about a priest who is told by an unseen member of his church that he will be killed. This sets off something of an existential, comic and dramatic journey for the man of the cloth, who continues to try and tend to his flock, even as death looms. And around Gleeson is a pretty great supporting cast including Kelly Reilly, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
The tumultuous recent history of the Ivory Coast is refracted through the ever-shifting identity of the title character in “Run,” an impressive if not fully realized first feature from French-Ivorian writer-director Philippe Lacote. Retracing the strange, winding road that led an ordinary young man to assassinate the prime minister of his country, this elliptical coming-of-age fable manages to feel dreamy, moody and picaresque by turns, punctuated by moments of startling violence, and gently imbued with a sense of mysticism rooted in African folklore. But in assessing the toll of civil war on a nation’s psyche, Lacote too often mistakes listlessness for lyricism, and his treatment of its protagonist’s story in heavily symbolic terms tends to short-circuit emotional investment over the long haul.
The first Ivorian feature ever selected to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, this $2.1 million-budgeted production has a lot riding on it, including the hopes of »
- Justin Chang
One of the films any film fan ought to be looking forward to this year is John Michael McDonagh's reteaming with Brendan Gleeson for Calvary. The duo delivered the highly entertaining dark comedy The Guard a couple year ago and are now back together for yet another darkly comic feature. Here Gleeson stars as Father James, a good priest who is faced with sinister and troubling circumstances brought about by a mysterious member of his parish. Although he continues to comfort his own fragile daughter (Kelly Reilly) and reach out to help members of his church with their various scurrilous moral--and often comic--problems, he feels sinister forces closing in, and begins to wonder if he will have the courage to face his own personal Calvary. McDonagh, brother of Martin McDonagh (In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths) wrote and directs the feature which co-stars Chris O'Dowd, Aidan Gillen, Dylan Moran, Isaach De Bankole, »
- Brad Brevet
Fox Searchlight has released a new theatrical Calvary trailer for writer/director John Michael McDonagh’s (The Guard) drama. The film stars Brendan Gleeson as a good priest who is told during confession that he will be killed by a man who was abused by a priest as a child. As he considers his own mortality, the priest continues to reach out and help the members of his church. This trailer highlights a darkly comic tone that underlines the deeper themes of the film, and Gleeson looks to be on point as the protagonist. Matt called the pic a “dark, complex, and demanding meditation on faith” in his review, and I’m definitely looking forward to checking out the full feature when it hits theaters. Hit the jump to watch the new Calvary trailer. The film also stars Chris O’Dowd, Kelly Reilly, Aidan Gillen, Dylan Moran, Isaach De Bankole, »
- Adam Chitwood
Director: John Michael McDonagh.
Starring: Brendan Gleeson, Kelly Reilly, Chris O’Dowd, Dylan Moran, Aidan Gillen, David Wilmot, Orla O’Rourke, Killian Scott, Isaach De Bankole, M. Emmet Walsh, Marie-Josée Croze, Owen Sharpe, Domhnall Gleeson.
Running Time: 100 minutes.
Synopsis: A normal day in the parish turns into a week of second-guessing and paranoia as a kind, genuine priest’s life is threatened by an unknown member of his congregation.
Sea, sand and serial killers. You’ve got to love the Irish coast. John Michael McDonagh returns after a three-year hiatus, once again penning and directing an Irish-set black comedy starring Brendan Gleeson. Considerably darker than previous effort, The Guard, McDonagh has written an allegoric, hard-hitting piece that isn’t afraid to point fingers at the place in which its lead character finds sanctuary – the Church.
Opening to the claustrophobic refuge of confession, we meet Father James Lavelle, the local priest. »
- Emma Thrower
Berlinale festival director Dieter Kosslick and veteran Polish film-maker Andrzej Wajda are to receive the Kristian Award for their Contributions to World Cinema at this week’s Prague International Film Festival – Febiofest.
The award for Wajda will be accepted on his behalf by the actor Robert Więckiewicz, who plays the title in the director’s latest film Walesa: Man Of Hope, at Febiofest’s opening ceremony on 20 March.
“There is probably not a person in Central European cinema who would document their homeland’s history with such consistency and emphasis on the desire for freedom and protection of elementary moral values,” Febiofest’s programme director Stefan Uhrik commented.
The honour for Kosslick will be his first Czech award to add to a host of other distinctions he has received during over 30 years working in the world of film funding and, latterly, festival programming at the Berlinale since 2001.
“He is a visionary man who is also »
- email@example.com (Martin Blaney)
The Prague International Film Festival (March 20-28) will present 141 films from 60 countries in 18 different sections.
Special tributes are being dedicated to the Finnish actress Kati Outinen, French animator Sylvain Chomet, Slovak actress Barbora Bobulová, Italian director Gianni Amelio and Ivory Coast-born actor Isaach de Bankolé.
De Bankolé, who first came to prominence in the French film industry with his role in Black Mic Mac, will present his two newest films, Mother Of August and Chaos, in Prague and will receive the Kristian Award for his Contribution to World Cinema.
Febiofest’s New Europe Competition open to first and second feature films will have such films as Wolfskinder, My Nephew, The Idiot, Life Feels Good, Puppy Love, The Machine and Rock The Casbah competing for the €10,000 Grand Prix, including a €5,000 premium for a potential Czech distributor »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Martin Blaney)
Last week saw the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, and a slew of new films vying for people's attention. While some films may never make it in front of mass audiences, movie studios are always there to make some purchases. I've gathered up a list of some of those purchase announcements so that you can see what will be coming your way in the future!
Let's get started (these are copied from the press releases I received to better reflect the information):
* Lionsgate (NYSE: Lgf) and Roadside Attractions, and Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (Spwa) each announced today that the respective companies have acquired rights in all territories to Craig Johnson’s drama The Skeleton Twins. Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions have jointly acquired Us rights to the film, while Spwa is taking all worldwide rights outside of the Us. Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions are planning a theatrical release for the feature film »
- email@example.com (Jordan Maison)
Exhaustion is settling in but the movies have been consistently good to great. Four movies in a row that variably thrilled or entertained me but definitely left with strong impressions of unforgettable characters. And one of them may be a masterpiece.
We’ll start at the top. John Michael McDonagh, brother of Martin (“In Bruges”), who wrote and directed “The Guard,” has done something truly special with “Calvary”, a fascinating dissection of religion and its impact on an Irish community, or rather lack thereof. Brendan Gleeson gives us another amazing performance and McDonagh’s script challenges in unexpected ways. It’s a film that’s dense with dialogue and philosophical conversation that truly takes its time to come together. Like when you’re going home. As I watched “Calvary,” I had some difficult digging through its themes to the point that I wasn’t sure it worked at all until the very end, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
In its second big buy of the Sundance Film Festival, Fox Searchlight Pictures has acquired U.S. rights and some international territories to the Irish comedy-drama "Calvary," from writer-director John Michael McDonagh ("The Guard"). "Cavalry" stars Brendan Gleeson, Chris O'Dowd, Kelly Reilly, Aidan Gillen, Dylan Moran, Isaach De Bankolé, M. Emmet Walsh, Marie-Josée Croze, and Domhnall Gleeson. The film was produced by Reprisal Films’ Chris Clark and Flora Fernandez Marengo and Octagon's James Flynn, and is an Irish Film Board and BFI presentation in association with Lypsync Productions. The film is scheduled to be released in 2014. Searchlight also picked up Mike Cahill's reincarnation "I, Origins." Here's the official synopsis: Calvary’s Father James (Brendan Gleeson) is a good priest who is faced with sinister and troubling circumstances brought about by a mysterious member of his parish. Although he continues to comfort his own fragile daughter »
- Anne Thompson
Fox Searchlight Pictures Presidents Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula announced today that the company has acquired U.S. rights as well as select international territories to the blackly comedic drama Cavalry . Written and directed by John Michael McDonagh, Cavalry 's ensemble cast includes Brendan Gleeson, Chris O'Dowd, Kelly Reilly, Aidan Gillen, Dylan Moran, Isaach De Bankolé, M. Emmet Walsh, Marie-Josée Croze, Domhnall Gleeson, David Wilmot, Pat Shortt, Gary Lydon, Killian Scott, Orla O'Rourke, Owen Sharpe and David McSavage. The film was produced by Reprisal Films. Chris Clark and Flora Fernandez Marengo and Octagon's James Flynn, and is an Irish Film Board and BFI presentation in association with Lypsync Productions. The film is scheduled to be released in 2014. »
Writer-director John Michael McDonagh and actor Brendan Gleeson made a big international splash with 2011′s “The Guard,” a terrifically entertaining action-comedy that offered little indication of the depths of humor, compassion, despair and grace they would achieve in their masterful follow-up, “Calvary.” Grounded by a performance of monumental soul from Gleeson as a tough-minded Irish priest marked for death by one of his parishioners, the film offers a mordantly funny survey of small-town iniquity that morphs, almost imperceptibly, into a deeply felt lament for a fallen world. A completely sincere work about the persistence of faith and the Catholic Church’s soul-shattering legacy of abuse, this literate, beautifully crafted picture should translate near-certain critical plaudits into a distinguished arthouse reception worldwide.
- Justin Chang
17 items from 2014
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