|Index||2 reviews in total|
Nick Chinlund got my attention years ago when he played Donnie Pfaster in two episodes of the X-Files. Evil seemed to ooze from every pore of the Pfaster character and it made for perhaps the most memorable character to come out of that long-running series. His tempered portrayal in Sinner of the conflicted Father Romano is very subtle and artful. And then there's Georgina Cates. Wow. This was my first exposure to this powerful actor and I'm looking forward to seeing more of her work! There were other just-right performances, too, including those by Tom Rogers as Officer Thomas and Michael E. Rodgers as the bad priest. And, last but not least, Brad Dourif doing Brad Douirif which is always O.K. with me.
Sinner is a 2007 indie buried in the depths of obscurity, and defined by its very bold choice to cast an actor in the lead role whose career so far has been so different from the type of character he plays here, it's a true blessing for fans to see him in this new light. The actor in question is Nick Chinlund, a rough looking bruiser with a filmography almost entirely made up of villainous creeps, grizzled detectives and other assorted hardcases (see Con Air, Training Day, The X Files and The Chronicles Of Riddick for his most critically celebrated work). Here he drops every trait he's been known for, playing small town catholic priest Anthony Romano, a man with a troubled past and an almost bankrupt parish who is facing an internal crisis, only made worse by the arrival of skanky grifter Lil (Georgina Cates) who preys on celibate priests, amongst other bottom-feeding life choices. After an incident involving Romano's lecherous fellow preacher, he allows Lil to take refuge from the police in his rectory, against better judgment. She's a nasty piece of work at first and Cates's performance is far too over the top, only simmering down to meet the character arc in the script long after it calls for action, making her work too little, too late, yet still rather affecting. Chinlund is nothing short of mesmerizing, giving Romano the internal conflict and vulnerability the character deserves, which is not an easy task when one considers the complex nature of the writing. Underrated doesn't begin to describe this actor, and lately I've been sad to see he hasn't been given many roles that are worthy of his talent. I've searched far and wide for Sinner many years, finally finding an amazon seller who would send me a copy. I loved it, and it made me so happy to see Chinlund get the kind of role that goes against the grain of much of his work. Romano uses the sort of golf as a release from priestly and personal hardships, the script using lots of golfer's lingo as sly similes for his personal issues. Tagging along with him is his scrappy and seemingly imaginary Caddy, played by Brad Dourif. Dourif can make any role, and I mean any, into pure magic with his dedication to the craft. Seeing him and Chinlund share a few wonderful scenes with bushels of chemistry was a nerd's dream come true for me, and part of the reason I searched so long for a copy of this film. For casuals this may be a bit offbeat to really sink into, but for fans of the actors and idiosyncratic indie flicks, this is a bona fide goldmine.
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